She was a wonderful, witty, woman -- Cecelia
Maeve Binchy's success blazed a trail for all the Irish female popular fiction writers who followed, including Cecelia Ahern, pictured, who had her own reason for being grateful.
When Cecelia's first novel 'PS I Love You' was published, a number of begrudging voices suggested that she had only got a book contract because her father was the Taoiseach.
Her subsequent success abroad proved that this was not the case. But before that, Maeve Binchy was one of the first to come out in support of Cecelia.
In a special tribute to Maeve Binchy yesterday, Cecelia Ahern said: "Such sad news today to hear of Maeve Binchy's passing. I'd like to pay tribute to a wonderful, warm, intelligent, witty woman who paved the way all around the world for so many Irish writers.
"I felt I knew her before I even met her and then when I did, I felt spending time in her company was like receiving the warmest hug from a lifelong friend. I'd personally like to say, thanks Maeve, for having my back. Rest in peace, you wonderful woman."
- John Spain