Patrick McCabe (novelist)

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Patrick McCabe
Born (1955-03-27) 27 March 1955 (age 66)
Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland
Alma materSt Patrick's College, Dublin
Literary movementNeo-delusional
Notable worksThe Butcher Boy,
Breakfast on Pluto,
Notable awardsHughes & Hughes/Irish Independent Irish Novel of the Year
SpouseMargot Quinn
ChildrenKatie, Ellen

Patrick McCabe (born 27 March 1955) is an Irish writer. Known for his mostly dark and violent novels set in contemporary—often small-town—Ireland, McCabe has been twice shortlisted for the Booker Prize, for The Butcher Boy (1992) and Breakfast on Pluto (1998), both of which have been made into films.


McCabe was born in Clones, County Monaghan.[1] He resides in Clones with his artist wife Margot Quinn and two daughters, Katie and Ellen.[citation needed]

Literary career[edit]

McCabe's books include The Butcher Boy (1992) and Breakfast on Pluto (1998), both shortlisted for the Booker Prize.[2] He has written a children's book (The Adventures of Shay Mouse) and several of his radio plays have been broadcast by RTÉ and BBC Radio 4. He wrote a collection of linked short stories, Mondo Desperado, published in 1999. The play Frank Pig Says Hello, which he adapted from The Butcher Boy, was first performed at the Dublin Theatre Festival in 1992 and of course his singles 'Swimming Pool' and 'Ballad of Audrey Dash' and residences at The Bridge Mall Inn and the Mallow Hotel.[3]

McCabe's 2001 novel Emerald Germs of Ireland is a black comedy featuring matricide. Winterwood, was published in 2006, and went on to become the 2007 Hughes & Hughes/Irish Independent Irish Novel of the Year. 2009 saw the publication of The Holy City. The Stray Sod Country—his most recent novel— was described[by whom?] as "Strangely elegiac, gloriously operatic and driven by Patrick McCabe's wild and savage imagination, the 'Stray Sod Country' is an eerie folk tale that chronicles the passing of a generation."

The director and novelist Neil Jordan has adapted both The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto into films.[4]

Zelig Theatre premiered the play Appointment in Limbo, written by McCabe, in Galway's Town Hall Theatre in 2008. Cathal Cleary directed.

McCabe and film director Kevin Allen are organisers of the Flatlake Festival a music festival held annually.[5]

List of works[edit]


  1. ^ Kelly, John (20 November 2006). "Pat McCabe". RTE: The View Presents. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  2. ^ Gorman, Sophie (6 October 2013). "The wild man of Clones who is now attempting to tame the stage". Irish Independent. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  3. ^ O'Mahony, John (30 August 2003). "Profile: Patrick McCabe" – via
  4. ^ "RTÉ Television - Arts Lives".
  5. ^ Jarvis, Alice-Azania (15 July 2009). "Pandora: Scam gives Campbell cause for complaint". The Independent. Retrieved 22 January 2010.

External links[edit]