"When, shortly after completing his celebrated Empire Trilogy, JG Farrell moved to a remote farmhouse above Bantry Bay, on Ireland's rugged south-west coast, he admitted that he was having trouble applying himself to his craft. "I've been trying to write but there are so many competing interests - the prime one at the moment is fishing off the rocks," he told a friend. That was August 1979 and a deadly Atlantic storm was brewing.
"Weeks later, Farrell went down to the sea armed with his rod, slipped and fell on the foaming rocks. He drowned aged 44.
"Last night, three decades after his death, the writer was named the winner of the "lost" Man Booker Prize for his 1970 tour de force Troubles, which tells the story of another Englishman who comes to grief in the Emerald Isle - this time a soldier embroiled in the gathering tempest of the Irish war of independence."