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Kerry South TD Griffin with Ireland South MEP and Fine Gael colleague Seán Kelly. Brendan Griffin
Alternative career

‘It’s very much a Kerry book’: Fine Gael TD Brendan Griffin pens debut novel

When he’s not growing ‘taches, the Kerry South TD is writing books.

Updated 11.51am

THE FINE GAEL TD Brendan Griffin, noted for his ‘tache growing abilities, has penned a novel which was launched by MEP and former GAA President Seán Kelly last weekend.

A clean-shaven Griffin was also joined by his family as he launched his debut novel Secrets of a Moonlit River, which he wrote while working as a publican between 2007 and 2009 at the Castle Inn in Castlemaine, Co Kerry.

Griffin says the book was penned late at night after closing the bar on the quiet week nights but it is only now that he has got around the publishing it.

“Ultimately the wife threatened me to either do something with it or she would throw it in the fire,” Griffin, who wrote some of the book in longhand, told today.

It’s hardly the stuff of his party colleague Alan Shatter – “a different genre” – whose novel Laura is notable for its explicit sex scene.

“It’s quite a short novel, it’s the type of thing that you could sit down in front of the fire for a few hours and you’d read it through,” Griffin said.

Set in the remote Kerry village of ‘Ballycastle’ the book tells the story of 13-year-old Cathal Kavanagh’s struggle to adjust to living with his grandfather after the death of his parents and brothers.


Cathal then encounters what the blurb says are ‘strange characters, strange threats and even stranger nocturnal happenings’ while he tries to settle into a hostile new school environment.

The novel is primarily aimed at readers aged 10 and over but we’re told adults will also enjoy it.

“The book is very much a Kerry book, having been written, edited, published and printed in Kerry,” a clean-shaven Griffin said.

We haven’t had a chance to read Griffin’s debut novel just yet, but the good news is that it has already received a glowing review from Harry McGee of the Irish Times.

But more importantly, what does Alan Shatter think?

“Apparently he considers me the greatest fiction writer to merge from Leinster House since himself,” Griffin joked, adding that he hadn’t had a chance to talk to him about it yet but that the Justice Minister could be in line for a nice Christmas present.

With plenty of positive feedback so far, Griffin says he has two follow-up books also in the mix but said whether or not they are published will depend on the reaction to this book.

Secrets of a Moonlit River is available in most Kerry bookshops for €9.99 as well as Brendan’s own website or through Amazon. A euro for every book sold goes to charity.

First published 11.23am

Read: This Fine Gael TD’s ‘Mo’ is getting some strange looks around Leinster House

Read: Fine Gael TD gives half of his salary to local school to employ teacher

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