That’s more of it now. Russia beating us on Saturday, Robbie Keane’s penalty Tuesday night, and now the Booker prize snatched from us. All this week is missing is some hoor from Moody’s, Standard and Poors or Fitch chipping in to downgrade our credit rating. I’m sick of hearing what Fitch have to say anyway. I want to know what Abercrombie thinks.

But if the Chilean miners have taught us anything, it is that in times of greatest adversity that we can discover hidden strengths. Even Brian Cowen – when he isn’t telling them all to feck off – may find he can work with the Opposition. I am also embarking on a new project. As mentioned in these pages a couple of weeks ago, with the digital TV gone, I’m going to write a book. To make sure the book is a success, I’m hedging my bets slightly and working on treatments of a number of books in several different genres. However, the constant theme in each will be Ireland’s economic collapse.

Foreigners love when the Irish write about their miserable lives, so to achieve international recognition, one book will to be a Quintessential Irish Novel. It will involve alienation, constant smoking, blustery rain, regret and a dark secret. So here, exclusive to the Cork News, is an excerpt from “The Ghost In The Estate”

Fiachra looked at the old man. They hardly knew each other any more. He spat into the fire and lit a cigarette.The old man looked back at him with rheumy eyes and slurped his tea. He lit a cigarette as well. The blustery rain hammered against the window.

“Why did you do it Da?” The question hung in the air like the smoke from Fiachra’s cigarette. All coily and smoky. The old man was silent. With quivering hands he tapped at his iPhone, which seemed incongruous given the overall bleakness of the novel. “Why did you do it?” Fiachra demanded again“Why did you buy all these bloody apartments”. The old man spoke at last “I’ve a dark secret to tell you. I’m not your real father, Father Fiachra is.”

To pay the bills, I intend to knock out a more lucrative Dan Brown-style mystery-detective novel also. In Sort Code, economics professor David McWilliams races against time to find out the earth shattering secret behind Ireland’s economic collapse.

McWilliams sprinted through the leafy suburbs, his heart pounding with fear and excitement. He needed to get to the former Financial Regulator’s house before anyone else did.

The old man was slumped in his conservatory. McWilliams screamed silently. Was he too late? He tapped at the window. The man moved and opened his eyes, shuffled to the door and opened it. “I’ve been expecting you” he said, resignedly.

McWilliams shoved the old man back into the kitchen away from prying eyes. His chest was heaving as he struggled to get the words out. “The collapse… the banks… borrowing money they couldn’t pay back… why did you let it happen?” The mild-mannered former civil servant was silent. McWilliams was shouting now “WHO were you protecting? Was the whole thing about Mary Magdalene’s secret child with Jesus or was it Opus Dei and the Priory of Sion?” The old man looked puzzled. “No, nothing to do with that. I just hadn’t a clue how to do my job. And all the guys in the banks were golf buddies of mine.”

Romantic fiction is also very popular and none more so than Mills and Boon. Just for the ladies here’s a sneak preview of Permission to Build, License to Love.

Delta Loveface looked at the strong-jawed man opposite her. She loathed him and everything he stood for. “You want planning permission to build 100 apartments on top of a mountain with no roads or wastewater services?” she said incredulously. “I can’t see what the problem is” Kyle Rockman purred. “Sure they’ll be grand” The words grated on her, but the voice was pure chocolate. She felt her blouse getting tighter as her body responded primevally to his wordless signals.

“Aren’t you a fine bit of shtuff?” he said. And that was all she needed. In a second she was in his arms. Her desk became a writhing tangle of limbs. She never knew such passion. She could only imagine what her colleagues in the planning office were thinking as they watched.

“Permission granted!” she gasped.

Finally, it’s important to state that this burst of writing is not just for personal gain. We need to educate our children about the momentous recent history of this country. With that in mind I’m rolling out a new series of Spot the Dog books where we join the lovable canine as he tries to make sense of the world. In Spot Opens The Fridge our doggy friend sees a familiar face.

Hello Boys and Girls. I wonder what Spot is up to today. “Are you hungry Spot?” asked Mummy “Yes” said Spot, wagging his little tail.

Let’s see what Spot can find when he opens the fridge. “Mummy” says Spot “There’s a man in our fridge” “I never thought I’d end up here” says the man “Never mind that” growls Spot “What were you doing when our economy was falling off a cliff? Winning a few bob on the horses I suppose”  Look boys and girls! Spot is swearing at the man. Here comes Mummy with some tea. She’ll know what to do “Spot, where did you learn all those words, you’re not suppose to know about that until Spot Goes To A Tribunal says Mummy “Get this gobshite out of our fridge” said Spot, bearing his little teeth.

Of course that last one is pure fantasy. No one would believe a former taoiseach would appear in an ad for a tabloid, stuck in a fridge. Would they?

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