Thursday 22 August 2019

Depp salutes his pal Donleavy in video-link to Book Awards gala

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp
Sinead Moriarty and Matt Cooper at the 10th annual Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards
Henry and Deirdre Shefflin
Donal Skeehan and Sofie Larsson
JP Donleavy

John Spain

Johnny Depp made a surprise appearance at the Irish Book Awards 2015 gala dinner in Dublin last night.

But sadly it was not in person. Possibly from a ship somewhere in the Caribbean or even from the mean streets of South Boston, the actor paid a warm tribute via video-link to his friend, the writer JP Donleavy.

Depp, who is producing and reportedly starring in a film version of Donleavy's 1955 novel 'The Ginger Man', offered his congratulations as the veteran Irish American author, who has lived near Mullingar for many years, was awarded the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony.

This was the 10th year of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards which brings together the entire book community in Ireland - readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians - to recognise and celebrate the best of Irish writing.

Anne Enright, Sinead 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 Enright, who is already a Man Booker Prize winner, for her latest novel 'The Green Road'.

Joe Duffy's bestseller, 'Children of the Rising', was a popular winner of the National Book Tokens Non-Fiction Book of the Year award.

Reviewing the book for the Irish Independent, former Senator Maurice Hayes said it was "an important contribution to the current debate on commemoration as the centenary approaches ... it adds depth, colour and perspective to the picture being drawn of the Rising."

The 13 categories in the Awards now 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.

This year, the Irish Independent sponsored the Popular Fiction Book of the Year award, which was won by Sinead Moriarty for her latest novel, 'The Way We Were'. The Newcomer of the Year award, sponsored by the 'Sunday Independent', was won by Sara Baume for her acclaimed debut novel, 'Spill Simmer Falter Wither', which tells the story of an isolated old man and his one-eyed rescue dog.

The senior section of the Specsavers Children's Book of the Year category was won by Louise O'Neill's 'Asking For It', a controversial novel which explores the subject of teenagers and sexual consent.

The Sports Book of the Year award went to former GAA footballer and Donegal manager Jim McGuinness for his memoir 'Until Victory Always'.

Niall 'Bressie' Breslin of 'The Voice' won the Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year award for 'Me and My Mate Jeffrey', his much praised book about his experience of living with depression and anxiety.

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

Highlights from last night's awards ceremony and interviews with the winning authors will be broadcast on RTÉ One television on Saturday night at 11.15pm.

Irish Independent

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