Literary hero: the Sunday Tribune's New Irish Writing editor Ciaran Carty (left) and writer Joseph O'Connor

Internationally renowned author Joseph O'Connor has paid tribute to the Sunday Tribune's New Irish Writing editor Ciaran Carty by dedicating his latest novel, Ghost Light, to him.

Carty was the first to discover O'Connor's writing talent when he submitted a short story to the New Irish Writing section of this newspaper in 1989.

"I owe him more than I can ever say. The dedication of this novel to Ciaran, and to his wife Julia, is utterly inadequate thanks to the affectionate support he has given my generation of Irish writers. He has done so much for all of us and we owe him deepest gratitude."

O'Connor, author of the international bestseller Star of the Sea, said Carty had amassed many admirers and friends in Irish writing circles. "He has been a friend to so many Irish writers that I couldn't begin to list them all, but they include Colum McCann, Anne Enright, Hugo Hamilton, John Boyne and literally dozens of others. A modest, intelligent, extraordinarily knowledgeable man of enormous personal charm, he's the greatest company imaginable and all of us love him. He's been a friend, an ally, and a hero to a whole generation of writers, and it's my pleasure and honour to thank him."

The Glenageary-born author, whose sister is Sineád O'Connor, will see his new novel published next week.

Carty said he was "honoured" to have had the book dedicated to him, but maintained the author's talent would have seen him through regardless. "It was the first year that we had begun the New Irish Writing competition and almost at the end I got this story, 'The Last of the Mohicans', from a new author, Joe O'Connor. So I rang him and told him I liked it. He said 'thank God' because he had given himself two years to make it as a writer and was coming up to the end of those two years. There is no doubt in my mind he would have made it no matter what happened," he said.