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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 17 July, 2018
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Irish language works get their own award category for first time at Irish Book Awards

An Post has taken over as sponsor of the annual awards for the next three years.

David Redmond, CEO of An Post, on the three-year sponsorship of the Irish Book Awards.
David Redmond, CEO of An Post, on the three-year sponsorship of the Irish Book Awards.
Image: TheJournal.ie

BOOKS WRITTEN IN the Irish language will be recognised with their own award in this year’s Irish Book Awards.

The awards organisers, who today announced that An Post has come on board to sponsor the event for the next three years, also revealed the new ‘as Gaeilge’ category.

“We’ve never actually excluded Irish language books previously – they are open to enter all the other categories,” Alistair Giles, Executive Director of An Post Irish Book Awards, told TheJournal.ie today.

“It felt like this was the right year with a new logo and a new sponsor to take a new initiative to cover off the one final element that we haven’t had so far. Giving a platform to Irish language writing is really important – there is a lot more Irish language writing out there than there used to be and we want to recognise that.”

The category will be called The Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year.

The An Post partnership replaces an eight-year sponsorship of the awards by Bord Gáis Energy. The awards began in 2006 but have grown in reach and recognition – last year’s award ceremony was televised on a primetime slot on RTÉ One with an average audience of a quarter of a million people tuning in.

David Redmond, CEO of An Post, said: “At the heart of An Post is the written word… Books connect people as An Post connects people, and we share a love for connection and community.”

TheJournal.ie has sponsored the Best Irish Published Book of the Year at the awards for the past four years – this category honours indigenous publishing houses and the works they produce. Last year’s winner was the immense Atlas of the Irish Revolution, published by Cork University Press. The book was further voted by the public as Ireland’s Book of the Year 2017.

Publishers are being asked to submit their nominations to the awards longlist now. Submissions close on 7 September and the shortlist will be launched towards the end of October, with the awards being held on 27 November.

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