Ross O'Carroll-Kelly

Ross O'Carroll-Kelly
Created by Paul Howard
Genre Humour
Publisher Sunday Tribune, The O'Brien Press, Penguin Books, The Irish Times
Media type paperback, audiobook, newspaper column
Gender Male
Occupation Rugby player
Family List of Ross O'Carroll-Kelly characters
Spouse(s) Sorcha Eidemar Françoise O'Carroll-Kelly (née Lalor)
Children Ronan "Ro" Masterson, Honor O'Carroll-Kelly-Lalor, Brian O'Carroll-Kelly-Lalor, Jonathan O'Carroll-Kelly-Lalor, Leo O'Carroll-Kelly-Lalor
Nationality Irish

Ross O'Carroll-Kelly is a satirical fictional Irish character, a wealthy Dublin 4 rugby union jock created by journalist Paul Howard.[1][2] The character first appeared in a January 1998 column in the Sunday Tribune newspaper and later transferred to The Irish Times. The series comprises fourteen novels, three plays, a CD, two other books and the newspaper column, as of 2014.[2]

Works in the series


Medium Title Release Plot
Newspaper column Ross O'Carroll-Kelly Sunday Tribune, January 1998 – July 2007 The life and loves of Ross
The Irish Times, 1 September 2007 – present
Novel The Miseducation of Ross O'Carroll-Kelly
(revised edition titled The Miseducation Years)
Sunday Tribune, 2000 Ross's last two years at Castlerock College and his Leinster Senior Cup victory
Novel Roysh Here, Roysh Now… The Teenage Dirtbag Years
(revised edition titled The Teenage Dirtbag Years)
Sunday Tribune, 2001 Ross's first year at UCD and holiday in the US
Novel The Orange Mocha-Chip Frappuccino Years The O'Brien Press, March 2003 Ross's parents force him to fend for himself as an estate agent
Novel PS, I Scored The Bridesmaids The O'Brien Press, April 2005 Ross and Sorcha get married
Spoken-word album The Twelve Days of Christmas Magpie Productions Ltd, November 2005 A comedy album about the lead-up to Ross's Christmas
Novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightdress Penguin Books, June 2006 Ross discovers that he is a father
Novel Should Have Got Off at Sydney Parade Penguin Books, May 2007 Sorcha falls pregnant
Play The Last Days of the Celtic Tiger Premiered at the Olympia Theatre, November 2007 Plot is similar to that of This Champagne Mojito Is The Last Thing I Own
Mock travel guide Ross O'Carroll-Kelly's Guide to (South) Dublin: How To Get By On, Like, €10,000 A Day Penguin Books, May 2008 A mock-travel guide to "SoCoDu."
Novel This Champagne Mojito Is The Last Thing I Own Penguin Books, June 2008 Ross's father is imprisoned and his assets seized.
Novel Mr S and the Secrets of Andorra's Box Penguin Books, October 2008 Ross becomes coach of the Andorra national rugby union team, and discovers that Erika is actually his sister
Compilation Ross O'Carroll-Kelly and the Temple of Academe Penguin Books, February 2009 Contains The Miseducation Years and The Teenage Dirtbag Years
Book of mock-interviews We Need To Talk About Ross Penguin Books, June 2009 A book of mock-interviews in which characters from the series discuss the protagonist.
Novel Rhino What You Did Last Summer Penguin Books, September 2009 Ross goes Stateside to win Sorcha back. While there, he ends up starring in a reality TV show.
Novel The Oh My God Delusion Penguin Books, 7 October 2010[4][5] Ross faces genuine poverty as the Irish economy nosedives.
Play Between Foxrock and a Hard Place Premiered at the Olympia Theatre, 15 October 2010[6] Ross's parents sell their house, and the O'Carroll-Kelly family fall victim to a tiger kidnapping
Novel NAMA Mia! Penguin Books, 6 October 2011 Ross sees a turning point in the recession, for himself at least.
Novel The Shelbourne Ultimatum Penguin Books, 27 September 2012 Ross refuses to change his ways, while all around him are affected by the Recession.
Novel Downturn Abbey Penguin Books, 26 September 2013 Ross becomes a grandfather, Honor shows she's Ross's daughter.
Play Breaking Dad Premiered at the Olympia Theatre, 25 April 2014[7] The year 2022. Ross is horrified upon meeting Honor's new boyfriend, who is very similar to a young Ross.
Novel Keeping Up with the Kalashnikovs Penguin Books, 11 September 2014 Sorcha is pregnant again and Ross must come to Fionn's rescue.
Novel Seedless in Seattle Penguin Books, 15 September 2015 Ross is forced to get neutered.
Novel Game of Throw-ins Penguin Books, 8 September 2016 Ross plays for a struggling Seapoint rugby team.


The novels are written entirely from Ross's first-person perspective, written in an eye dialect representative of the intonation attributed to affluent areas of South Dublin, commonly called "Dortspeak" (after the DART, a rail service covering the Dublin coast). This accent is one of the primary targets of satire in the columns and novels. Due to the wide variety of esoteric slang used in the novels, a glossary ("ThesauRoss") appears as an appendix to Ross O'Carroll-Kelly's Guide to (South) Dublin: How To Get By On, Like, €10,000 A Day. Though the basic idioms are derived largely from standard Hiberno-English, the South Dublin accent as represented by Howard has distinctive features:

Although the main satirical targets of the columns are affluent South Dublin dwellers, elements of working-class culture (sometimes called skanger culture) are also parodied, again, primarily through language.

Eye dialect is also used to portray the accents of Northern Irish people, "culchies" (rural people), and foreigners.


Cultural impact

Ross O'Carroll-Kelly is something of a craze in Ireland,[8] and his name has become a byword for all that is perceived to be wrong in Celtic Tiger Ireland. Though it is largely viewed as satire, there are those who view Ross O'Carroll-Kelly as a role model or an idol. Paul Howard has claimed some people have imitated Ross's friends pastime of driving through disadvantaged areas in expensive cars, shouting "Affluence!" at passers-by and throwing €5 notes out the window.[2] Following Ross's move to The Irish Times, the Irish Independent began a similar column, OMG! featuring a female counterpart to Ross, in its Weekend supplement on 22 September 2007.


  1. Interview with Paul Howard, Robert Ryan,, retrieved 18 January 2010
  2. 1 2 3 Spawning a bundle of 'Rosser' wannabes, top snob takes to stage, Irish Independent, 31 August 2007, retrieved 9 April 2009
  3. Ross O'Carroll-Kelly - Books - Keeping Up with the Kalashnikovs
  4. Ross O'Carroll-Kelly - Home
  5. Ross O'Carroll-Kelly (27 Sep 2010). The Oh My God Delusion. Penguin. ISBN 978-1844881758. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  6. Archived 14 September 2010 at the Wayback Machine.
  7. "ROSS O'CARROLL KELLY 'BREAKING DAD'- MUST END THIS SAT 24th". The Gaiety Theatre - Irish Theatre in Dublin. Retrieved 2014-08-04.
  8. "Man Friday, Roysh!". RTÉ One. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
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