Novelist Cathy Kelly backs assisted suicide after agony of watching her father die
Top Belfast-born author Cathy Kelly has waded into the assisted suicide debate after saying she would end her life in a Swiss euthanasia clinic if she suffered from a terminal disease - even though her children are against the idea.
The mother-of-two firmly believes that people should be able to make the decision of when they die.
However, the healthy author also said that her children are horrified by the prospect of what she would do in the future.
The 49-year-old 'chick lit' author left Belfast as a young child and grew up in Dublin where she later became a national newspaper journalist.
She told the Sun on Sunday that her views on assisted suicide were formed by what she witnessed her father Paddy go through in the final years of his suffering with dementia.
Cathy said: "For the last 18 months dad was getting out of bed in the middle of the night. I would get the call that he had to be stopped or else he would be out walking the streets at 3am.
"There was the person we had grown up with and loved, suffering with such torment."
"It made me think... I would get help to end my life. That upsets my kids but I think it's a personal decision everybody should be allowed to make."
Cathy's first novel Woman to Woman became an international bestseller after it went to number one position in 1997.
It stayed there for the next eight weeks. She has written 12 novels in total and her latest Between Sisters (inset) was released earlier this month.
The former agony aunt columnist now lives with her husband and family in Co Wicklow and also works as a Unicef Ireland ambassador.