O'Donnell lauded at Irish BA conference

Gina O’Donnell of Dublin independent Hodges Figgis has been honoured with The O’Brien Press Bookseller of The Year Award in Ireland after an “overwhelming” number of votes.

O’Donnell, who has worked there for more than 30 years and currently manages the store, was presented with the bronze sculpture trophy at the annual Irish Booksellers Association conference in Dublin on Saturday [19th February].

Ivan O’Brien, managing director of The O’Brien Press, said: “She sets the tone for an exceptional team in an exceptional bookshop. Her knowledge and instinct for a good book are second to none. She is unfailingly professional, courteous and willing to help colleagues, customers and suppliers alike.”

O’Donnell said she has made life-long friends through her role and described herself as “lucky” to have got a job working for “the oldest and biggest bookshop in Ireland".

“There is such a cohesive team at Hodges Figgis, pulling together against the challenges and keeping each other buoyed up,” O’Donnell added.

The O’Brien Bookseller of the Year Award was initiated in 1994 to mark 20 years of the company’s publishing, and is presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievement by an individual bookseller.

O’Donnell received a large number of votes from her colleagues in the book industry to win the honour. Along with the trophy, she also received a framed commemorative certificate and a weekend away for two at a luxury Irish destination.