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Mary O'Rourke for Navan book-signing

Story by Tom Kelly

Thursday, 6th December, 2012 11:30am

Mary O'Rourke for Navan book-signing

Best selling author Mary O'Rourke is to sign her book 'Just Mary' on Friday 7th December in Easons Navan, from 4pm. Mary O'Rourke has topped the hardback bestseller list for the three weeks of its launch by former president Mary McAleese in October. Another 10,000 copies of the book will arrive in the Gill and Macmillan warehouse this week as the books runaway success sees it outselling 'Fifty Shades of Grey' author EL James and the memoirs of Cheryl Cole in this country.

Just Mary begins with the February 2011 general election, the day Mary O'Rourke's active political career ended. She reflects on key events in her working life, including her brother Brian Lenihan's bid for the presidency, the Eircom sell-off, the infamous 'St Valentine's Day Massacre' when Albert Reynolds took power, and party tensions in the run up to the most recent election. She is frank about the characters she worked with, many of whom defined an era, among them Charlie Haughey, Garret FitzGerald, Pádraig Flynn and Bertie Ahern.

She describes life as a woman in the male world of politics, the sexism she sometimes had to deal with, and the difficulties of balancing her busy career with raising a family. She also talks for the first time about her struggle to have children and her battle with post-natal depression, although it was not recognised as such at the time.

Devastated as she was by her defeat in 2011, losing an election does not compare with losing loved ones and Mary has had more than her fair share of tragic losses over the years: the untimely death of her beloved husband Enda, her brothers Brian and Paddy, and more recently her nephew and former Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan-all of whom she remembers here.

Although they have become more frequent in recent years, Irish political memoirs are still relatively rare. Even rarer still are political memoirs that are frank, newsworthy and fun, like this one from Mary O'Rourke.

Mary O'Rourke is a former deputy leader of Fianna Fáil, who has held a number of senior Cabinet positions. She has also been Leader of the Seanad and is a frequent guest on radio and television.

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