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Judge's book is on murder, sex and blackmail - just like real life

A RETIRED judge who has penned his first novel has described parts of it as ugly, pornographic and repulsive.

Former judge James O'Sullivan (78) has just released The Stiletto, an X-rated tale of sex, blackmail, rape and murder.

He based some of the book's more disturbing chapters on trials he heard throughout his career and claims each one recalls real-life events.

Mr O'Sullivan, speaking at a book signing last night in the Blackchurch Inn, Rathcoole, said: "It's ugly, pornographic and repulsive. Why is that? Well, in the Ireland of today, you can't write a book full of Hail Mary prayers. Those days are gone.

"We have a very filthy, dirty country today and anyone sitting on a judge's bench knows that because they see it.

"But every such incident in that book happened. None of it came from my imagination. They're short, they only appear in little parts, but I hope people will agree that the rest is a beautiful story."

Mr O'Sullivan retired in 2002 as one of Ireland's longest serving judges after 32 years on the bench.

The former alcoholic, who was great drinking pals with legendary writer Brendan Behan, said: "These are tales and themes common in everyday life. You only have to sit in court and listen to it and you'll hear all that kind of stuff.

"Ireland has been that way for many years, but perhaps up until recently it was always hidden."

The Stiletto focuses on the painful private life of wealthy businessman Donal Moran.

Assistant Commissioner Tony Hickey, who led the investigation into the callous murder of journalist Veronica Guerin, attended last night's signing along with former murder squad chief John Courtney.

Mr O'Sullivan started writing 50 years ago, but his first effort was burned to ashes when it fell into an open fire during a drinking session with Behan in Co Laois, where Mr O'Sullivan now lives.

The Stiletto is available for sale at www.originalwriting.ie, priced €11.99.