Bernard MacLaverty, Marian Keyes and John Connolly are among the authors honoured at the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards.
Now in its 12th year, the ceremony took place in Dublin’s Clayton Hotel and was attended by a number of those from the publishing industry including John Banville, Roddy Doyle and David Walliams, who was honoured with the ‘International Recognition Award’.
Penguin Random House published many of the award winners, particularly those in the fiction category, including Midwinter Break (Jonathan Cape) by Bernard MacLaverty, which scooped the Eason Book Club Novel of the Year, Keyes, who won the Specsavers Popular Fiction Book of the Year for The Break (Michael Joseph) and Ruth Fitzmaurice, who snapped up the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year for her memoir, I Found My Tribe (Chatto & Windus), about how swimming helped her deal with her husband’s Motor Neurone Disease.
HarperCollins imprint William Collins triumphed in the Non-Fiction category with Wounds: A Memoir of War & Love by Fergal Keane, while Hodder & Stoughton’s he: A novel by John Connolly took the RTÉ Radio 1’s The Ryan Tubridy Show Listener’s Choice Award.
Indies also fared well at the awards, particularly those based in Ireland. Publisher Gill Books won twice with Cook Well, Eat Well by Rory O’ Connell taking Eurospar Cookbook of the Year award and The Choice by Philly McMahon with Niall Kelly winning the Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year title. Dublin independent The O’ Brien Press also triumphed twice with Stand by Me by Judi Curtin winning the National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year (Senior) and Sea – Favourite Rhymes from an Irish Childhood by Sarah Webb illustrated by Steve McCarthy scooping the National Book Tokens Children’s Book of the Year (Junior).
Little Island’s Tangleweed and Brine by Deirdre Sullivan illustrated by Karen Vaughan won the Young Adult Book of the Year meanwhile and New Island Books’ The Therapy House by Julie Parsons scooped Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year trophy. Atlas of the Irish Revolution by John Crowley, Donál Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and John Borgonovo (Cork University Press) won TheJournal.ie Best Irish Published Book of the Year and London-based Head of Zeus’ Motherfoclóir by Darach Ó Séaghdha took the title for the Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year.
Finally, in the poetry category, Seven Sugar Cubes by Clodagh Beresford Dunne (From the Irish Times) was awarded the Listowel Writer’s Week Irish Poem of the Year while 'Back to Bones' by Christine Dwyer Hickey came top of the short story category.
Renowned poet Eavan Boland was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award while Walliams was the recipient of the Bord Gáis Energy International Recognition Award - a special prize for international authors who "have contributed substantially to the health and wealth of the Irish book-trade".
It was revealed last month that the awards were seeking a new sponsor after Bord Gáis Energy “reluctantly” announced it was stepping down as title sponsor after an “extremely fruitful eight-year partnership”.
Larry MacHale, Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards’ chairperson, said: “When you scan the list of award winners, it makes you feel proud to be part of an industry that produces so many great Irish writers.
“What's even more encouraging is the number of young writers who are breaking through every year.”
Dave Kirwan, m.d of Bord Gáis Energy, added: “The 2017 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards have shown, yet again, that we in Ireland are blessed with a huge amount of literary talent, so to receive one of these awards is a significant achievement indeed. The quality of the shortlisted entries across each of the categories was incredibly high, and I hope that this year’s event will inspire those who perhaps didn’t win an award this year to enter again in the coming years.”
This year, more than 50,000 people voted to select the winners in each category. From Thursday (29th November), the public can vote for their overall ‘Bord Gáis Energy Book of the Year’ by visiting www.bgeirishbookawards.ie.