independent

Wednesday 19 December 2018

Poignant night as Niall launches his first book

Niall O’Connor (left) with Eileen Whelan, Philip Ryan, Minister Simon Harris and Joanna and Hilary Hamilton at the launch of Niall and Philip’s book ‘Leo Varakdar: A Very Modern Taoiseach’ in Bridge Street Books on Thursday
Niall O’Connor (left) with Eileen Whelan, Philip Ryan, Minister Simon Harris and Joanna and Hilary Hamilton at the launch of Niall and Philip’s book ‘Leo Varakdar: A Very Modern Taoiseach’ in Bridge Street Books on Thursday

Esther Hayden

Local author Niall O'Connor got terrific support last week when he launched his first book, Leo: A very modern Taoiseach. the first biography of Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Niall, a former political correspondent with the Irish Independent, co-wrote the book with Philip Ryan, Deputy Political Editor with the Irish Independent.

Launching the book in Marine House, the home of the KWETB, in Wicklow town Niall said when they were approached about writing the book they decided to grasp the opportunity.

He said as two of the youngest journalists in Leinster House they relished the chance of telling the story of Leo Varadkar whom he described as part of the 'so-called new generation of politicians'.

He said they wanted to write a book that was accessible to everyone, not just political enthusiasts. 'I hope that those who read the book will have a better understanding of a politician who will be one of the most talked about for decades to come'.

At the launch, which was carried out by RTE newsreader Eileen Whelan, Niall paid tribute to his late father Brendan and his mother Carmel, as well as his co-author Philip.

Niall said that the bar in the KWETB facility at Marine House was called Bren's Bar, named after his father who had been caretaker of the school for many years and had a long association with the building.

He said that although Brendan wasn't part of the celebrations, he was very much there in spirit, adding he would have really meeting friends and family.

Niall said that the plaque at the entrance to Marine House reading 'Proof that all things are possible as long as you believe' was especially poignant on the night and showed the 'tremendous impact my father has had on so many lives, especially the lives of the young people of the Educate Together school, who he cherished dearly before he died'.

The book is dedicated to Niall's parents, Carmel and the late Brendan, and Philip's parents, Liz and Brendan Ryan.

At the launch, Niall paid tribute to Eileen Whelan for her support and for launching the book and thanked Joanna and Hilary Hamilton of Bridge Street Books for their support. He said their 'willingness to support local authors is fantastic'.

The book is now currently on sale.

Wicklow People

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