A successful Irish stage and TV writer, Connaughton hit his country's best-seller lists with the novel, "A Border Station". What Damon Runyon did for New York, Connaughton might well be said to have done for Redhills, Ireland, as many of his stories are set there, where Connaughton spent his childhood. He entered films with the script to the Oscar-winning short "The Dollar Bottom" (1980) and went on to collaborate with Mike Leigh on the TV-movie "Four Days in July" (1984), about couples in Northern Ireland affected by the Troubles. (The screenwriter also made his acting debut in the telefilm.) Connaughton, though, first won international attention as the co-scenarist on "My Left Foot" (1989), based on the life of writer-painter Christy Brown. While he and director Jim Sheridan only shared an Academy Award nomination for their script, actors Daniel Day-Lewis (as the adult Christy) and Brenda Fricker (as his mother) took home Oscars.