Roddy Doyle


Born in Dublin in 1958, Roddy Doyle was educated by the Christian Brothers and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he read English and Geography.

He became a teacher in Dublin in 1980, before leaving to write full-time in 1993. His first three novels, The Commitments (1987), The Snapper (1990), and The Van (1991), narrate the adventures of the Rabbitte family, residents of Barrytown, a poor housing estate in north Dublin. Both The Commitments and The Snapper were made into films, and Doyle wrote the Channel 4 series, The Family, which was televised in the UK in 1995.He won the Booker Prize for Fiction in 1993 for his novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, the vibrant tale of a ten-year-old Irish boy. The Woman Who Walked Into Doors (1996) is the tragic story of Paula Spencer, alcoholic and mother of four children, locked in an abusive marriage. Doyle revisits Spencer’s life in his 2006 novel Paula Spencer. His novel, A Star Called Henry (1999), is set in 1922 during the civil war in Ireland. Doyle is also the author of two plays, Brownbread (1987), and War (1989); and children’s books, including The Giggler Treatment (2000), Rover Saves Christmas (2001) and The Meanwhile Adventures (2004). His children’s book A Greyhound of a Girl (2012) was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 2013.

He is also one of 15 Irish writers who contributed to the ‘serial novel’ Yeats is Dead! (2001), a murder story set in contemporary Dublin, the proceeds of which were given to Amnesty International. His book, Rory & Ita (2002), a mixture of oral history and family reminiscence, tells the story of his parents’ lives. He published a collection of short stories, The Deportees, in 2007, and a second, Bullfighting, in 2011.

His most recent books include The Dead Republic (2010);Two Pints (2012); The Guts (2013), which takes us back to Jimmy Rabbitte, now in his forties; Two More Pints (2014); Dead Man Talking (2015); and Smile (2017).


44. Writing Dublin: Roddy Doyle and John Banville Sold Out

St. Patrick's Church

These two masters both write with dark humour and wit; we are excited to present them together to talk about “Writing Dublin”. You’d be mad to miss this! Roddy Doyle has moved readers for more than three decades. The initial larking of the Barrytown Trilogy has given way to many more complex stories, exploring the […]