Paul Howard (born 6 January 1971) is a multi award-winning journalist, author and comedy writer. He is best known as the creator of the cult character, Ross O’Carroll-Kelly a fictional rugby jock whose exploits have been the subject of fourteen novels that have sold one million copies in Ireland. He was named National Newspapers of Ireland Columnist of the Year in 2013 for his weekly column in The Irish Times on Saturday written under the Ross O’Carroll-Kelly pseudonym. The column began in the sports pages of The Sunday Tribune in January 1998. The inspiration for the columns first came from a nonfiction article Howard was researching on Leinster schools rugby. The information he had gathered on the social activities engaged in by the young rugby players was unprintable for legal reasons; instead, Howard decided to use the material to inspire a set of characters (including Ross) attending the fictional school of “Castlerock”.
He is the author of three plays – The Last Days of the Celtic Tiger in 2007 and Between Foxrock and a Hard Place in 2010 and Breaking Dad in 2014 – as well as the hugely successful 2012 puppet-based Anglo the Musical.
His first non-Ross-related venture into fiction – Triggs – The Autobiography of Roy Keane’s Dog – was a number one bestseller in 2012 and was short listed for an Irish Book Award.
He is a three-time Irish Book Award winner, collecting the Best Popular Fiction prize in 2007 for Should Have Got Off at Sydney Parade, in 2010 for The Oh My God Delusion and in 2013 for Downturn Abbey (each parts of the Ross O’Carroll-Kelly series).
He has also written comedy for radio and television and was part of the writing teams for two series of two RTÉ comedy sketch shows in the autumns of 2012 and 2013, Irish Pictorial Weekly and The Mario Rosenstock Show. He also appeared in a number of sketches in Irish Pictorial Weekly. The second series of Irish Pictorial Weekly was nominated for and Irish Film and Television Award in 2014.
Paul and Ross will come together to read from and talk about Ross’s latest comic novels Game of Throw-ins, about Ross’s mid-life crisis (35 and feeling the loss of all potential never realised).