Sunday 23 October 2016

Donleavy receives lifetime award at Irish Book Awards

Published 29/11/2015 | 02:30

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2015 took place in Dublin on Wednesday night at a gala dinner attended by most of the top Irish authors, publishers and booksellers.

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Anne Enright, Sinéad Moriarty, Donal Ryan, Niall Breslin, Joe Duffy, Sara Baume and Louise O'Neill were some of the winning authors this year.

The most important category, the Eason Book Club Novel of the Year award, was won by Anne Enright, already a Man Booker Prize winner, for her latest novel The Green Road.

Irish-American novelist JP Donleavy was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award. Actor Johnny Depp, who is producing and reportedly starring in a film version of Donleavy's 1955 novel, The Ginger Man, offered his congratulations to the veteran author via a live video-link during the ceremony.

The various categories in the Awards include Novel of the Year, Popular Fiction, Non-Fiction, Crime, Children's, Sports, Short Stories and Cookery. Hundreds of books were submitted this year for consideration and were voted for by the public via the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards website and by the members of the Irish Literary Academy involving people from all parts of the book world here.

This is the tenth year of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards which brings together the entire book community - readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians - to recognise and celebrate the best of Irish writing.

The Awards in their present format began in 2006 with just three categories: fiction, non-fiction and children's. In recent years the awards have gone from strength to strength with the support of Bord Gáis Energy and now have 13 categories individually sponsored by supporting companies.

This year the Irish Independent sponsored the Popular Fiction Book of the Year award won by Sinéad Moriarty and the Sunday Independent sponsored the Newcomer of the Year award won by Sara Baume. The Non-Fiction Book of the Year award, sponsored by National Book Tokens, was won by broadcaster Joe Duffy for his bestseller Children of the Rising.

Presidents, Taoisigh, Nobel Laureates and most of the best writers in Ireland have been in attendance at the gala dinner over the years in what has become the premier event in the Irish literary calendar, a special evening to celebrate Irish writing.

This year, more than 45,000 readers voted to select the winners in each category. The public can now vote for the overall Bord Gáis Energy Book of the Year award by going to Voting is open until midnight on December 17.

Highlights from the awards ceremony and interviews with the winning authors will be broadcast on RTÉ One television tonight at 11.15pm.

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