Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards 2017: David Walliams, Marian Keyes, Philly McMahon, Fergal Keane among winners
Comedian David Walliams has told how it feels "amazing" to hear from fans that he has got their children into reading.
The Britain's Got Talent judge was the recipient of the Bord Gais Energy international recognition award at last night's Irish Book Awards at Dublin's Clayton Hotel.
The honour is given to international authors who have contributed substantially to the health of the Irish book trade.
Walliams has written several children's books and has sold more than 20 million copies over the last decade.
"When you write the books, you're on your own. It's very solitary. You're trying to amuse yourself," he said. "When you meet the little people who read them and you go, 'oh yeah the little people, they like these stories'.
"It's amazing when people come up and say they like your book or that you got them into reading."
Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern joined his daughter, best-selling author Cecelia Ahern, at the awards and said he did not judge Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald for resigning in the wake of the garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe controversy.
"I didn't make anything of today. Would you believe it, I didn't even watch it. I was off at a few meetings," he said.
"If she said she made the right decision, she made the right decision. I wouldn't judge her."
Ahern added that it would not be an "enormous deal" as to who replaces Fitzgerald and believes the public are more concerned with ministerial roles.
"All the years I was there, people were more interested in the ministries than the title of Tanaiste," he added.
Ahern released an autobiography in 2009 but said he is now more interested in sport and history books.
Some of the winners on the night included The Therapy House by Julie Parsons for the Irish Independent crime fiction book of the year.
GAA star Philly McMahon won sports book of the year for his memoir The Choice, while Wounds: A Memoir of War & Love by Fergal Keane took home the non- fiction book of the year award.
Rory O'Connell's Cook Well, Eat Well won cookbook of the year while The Break by Marian Keyes took home the award for popular fiction book of the year.
Novel of the year was won by Bernard MacLaverty for Midwinter Break.