An Australian-born writer who lives in Co Leitrim has won Britain's most prestigious literary award, the Man Booker Prize for fiction.

42-year-old DBC Pierre, whose real name is Peter Finlay, received the prize at a reception in London last night for his first novel, 'Vernon God Little'.

As well as providing a cheque for £50,000, the award is seen as a major boost to book sales.

The writer is a self-confessed former gambler and drug addict.

He said he intended to use most of the prize money to start paying back debts.