Author Maeve Binchy talks to John Bowman about growing up in Ireland, storytelling, success as an author and being a millionaire.

Bestselling author Maeve Binchy was born in Dublin on 28 May 1940. She tells presenter John Bowman about her happy childhood in this 'Witness' interview from 1999. Times were very different then, things like education and medicine had to be paid for. 

Weren't we lucky that our father and mother saved for our education? We didn't have a car, and we had never stayed in a hotel, and the first time we ever went out to a restaurant was when I got my Leaving Certificate.

Irish writer Maeve Binchy (1995)Irish writer Maeve Binchy at her home in Dalkey, Co. Dublin (1995)

While always ambitious, she didn't have any notion that she would be successful, because she thought that only Irish people would read her stories, but they ended up being read all over the world because people could see themselves in them. Commenting on her financial success, Binchy comments

I'd be an eejit if I said it wasn't nice.

Maeve Binchy died on 30 July 2012. Her many novels include 'Light a Penny Candle', 'Circle of Friends' and 'Tara Road'.

This edition of 'Witness' was broadcast on 1 August 1999.