Ruth Gilligan

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Ruth Gilligan
Born 1988 (age 26–27)
Dublin, Ireland
Occupation Novelist (also Actress)
Nationality Irish
Period 2006 - present
Genre Romance, sentimental, chick lit

Ruth Gilligan is an Irish writer and actress, born in Dublin, Ireland.[citation needed]


Gilligan's father is an accountant and her mother a speech therapist, her brother David is ten years her senior, and the family live in Blackrock.[citation needed]


She studied acting at the Betty Ann Norton Theatre School in Dublin from the age of six, and later secured theatre, TV commercial and short film roles.[citation needed]

At second level, Gilligan attended St. Andrew's College, Booterstown, and while there, she played Laura Halpin in the Irish soap opera Fair City, and wrote her first novel, Forget[1][2][3] as a Transition Year secondary school project.[4][5] After reading and editing by successful novelist Patricia Scanlan, and extensive rewriting, the novel was published in 2006 in the UK and Ireland, reaching number 1 on the Irish Bestsellers' List,[6] making her the youngest person in Ireland ever to have done so.

Achieving eight Higher-Level A1 grades in her Leaving Certificate examinations, Gilligan continued her studies at Cambridge University achieving a double First Class Honours degree in English Literature from Gonville and Caius College, and while in second year there published her second novel, Somewhere in Between, which has also recently been translated into German.[citation needed]

In January 2009, Gilligan was announced as the youngest ever recipient of an O'Reilly Foundation Scholarship to pursue advanced studies in English literature.[7]

Her third book was launched in Blackrock near Dublin in August 2009, following which she discussed her work, scholarship, lifestyle and the English Olympic fencing boyfriend Alex O'Connell to whom the book is dedicated, in a live TV interview.[8]

From 2009-2010 she attended Yale University, earning an MA in English Literature. From 2010-2011 she was enrolled on the Creative Writing MA Program at the University of East Anglia.[citation needed]

She is currently working towards her PhD in English at Exeter University for which she is writing her fourth novel, based around the history of Irish Jews.


References, notes and sources[edit]

  1. ^ Gilligan, Ruth (2006). Forget. Dublin: Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 279 p. ; 24 cm. ISBN 0-340-92088-2. 
  2. ^ Heaney, Mick (December 31, 2006). "The leisure principle". Arts & Entertainment (The Sunday Times). Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  3. ^ "The love lives of generation text". Irish Independent. August 7, 2006. 
  4. ^ Heaney, Mick (August 13, 2006). "Ireland: Teenage kickstart". Arts & Entertainment (The Sunday Times). Retrieved 2008-07-23. 
  5. ^ "Ruth Gilligan", RTÉ,
  6. ^ "Top of the class: How one student managed to achieve it all". Irish Times. 9 Sep 2006. 
  7. ^ Headline paragraph on official Foundation site, retrieved 6 February 2009
  8. ^ TV3 interview
Other sources