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Success for Sally Rooney, Séamus O'Reilly and Maureen Gaffney at Irish Book Awards

Here are this year’s winners.

Sally Rooney
Sally Rooney
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

SALLY ROONEY, SÉAMUS O’Reilly and Maureen Gaffney are among the winning authors at this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards, which were held virtually this evening. 

First awarded in 2006, the An Post Irish Book Awards are Ireland’s biggest literary celebration, showcasing a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across 20 categories, championing everything from novels and non-fiction to poetry, short stories and the Irish language.

Irish writer Sebastian Barry was announced as the recipient of the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award, joining a host of other distinguished recipients including Colm Tóibín, Maeve Binchy and Seamus Heaney. 

Commenting on this year’s winners, John Treacy, Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards, said: “We really are so lucky to have such marvellous writers in this country. We have so many promising young writers, more women writers than ever, writers representing minority and marginalised Irish communities, and this will only grow in the years to come.

“I’d like to congratulate all of the winners and also the nominees in every category. It’s been another great year for Irish literature. See you in 2022.”

Below is the full list of winners for the An Post Irish Book Awards 2021:

  • The Journal Best Irish Published Book of the Year 

The Coastal Atlas of Ireland – Val Cummins, Robert Devoy, Barry Brunt, Darius Bartlett, Sarah Kandrot

  • Eason Novel of the Year 

Beautiful World, Where Are You – Sally Rooney

  • Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year 

56 Days – Catherine Ryan Howard

  • Eason Sport Book of the Year in association with Ireland AM 

Fight Or Flight: My Life, My Choices – Keith Earls, with Tommy Conlon

  • Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year 

Snowflake – Louise Nealon

  • Odgers Berndtson Non-Fiction Book of the Year 

We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Ireland Since 1958 – Fintan O’Toole

  • Dubray Biography of the Year 

Did Ye Hear Mammy Died? – Séamas O’Reilly

  • Bookselling Ireland Cookbook of the Year 

Everyday Cook – Donal Skehan

  • National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year 

Aisling and the City – Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen

  • Bookstation Lifestyle Book of the Year 

Décor Galore – Laura De Barra

  • Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Junior) 

A Hug for You – David King, illustrated by Rhiannon Archard

  • Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (Senior) 

The Summer I Robbed a Bank – David O’Doherty, illustrated by Chris Judge

  • Teen and Young Adult Book of the Year

The New Girl – Sinead Moriarty

  • RTÉ Audience Choice Award 

Your One Wild And Precious Life – Maureen Gaffney

  • Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year

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Marian Keyes

  • Writing.ie Short Story of the Year

Little Lives – Deirdre Sullivan

  • Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year

Longboat at Portaferry – Siobhan Campbell

  • The Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year

Madame Lazare – Tadgh Mac Dhonnagain

  • The An Post Bookshop of the Year

Kennys Bookshop and Art Gallery, Galway

An Post CEO David McRedmond said: “As we continue to face down the greatest global challenge of our lifetime, the power of books and reading is so much more evident, bringing escape, solace and satisfaction. 

“Trusted and appreciated, local bookshops provide the essential human link between author, publisher and reader. We are very pleased to support the new category of Bookshop of the Year in 2021 and we congratulate all the Kenny family on their success this year.” 

Readers are now being invited to vote for their overall An Post Irish Book of the Year on the official website. Voting opens tomorrow.

The winner will be announced as part of a one-hour special on RTÉ One on Wednesday 8 December. 

All voters are also in with a chance of winning €100 worth of National Book Tokens. 

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