Renowned author Toibin appointed to Arts Council

Renowned author Colm Toibin has been appointed as a member of the Arts Council, it was confirmed today.

The council said they were honoured after Toibin agreed to take the position. The author’s work The Master was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2004 and claimed the €100,000 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award earlier this year.

After Arts Minister John O’Donoghue made the announcement, Olive Braiden, chair of the Arts Council, said: “It is an honour to have such a renowned contemporary novelist as Colm Toibin with us at the Arts Council table and we are delighted with the minister’s appointment.

“Colm Toibin is an award-winning writer of exceptional artistic insight and skill and I know I am speaking on behalf of all the council, when I say that we look forward to working with him in the months ahead as we implement our strategy Partnership for the Arts.”

Toibin, who was born in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford in 1955, lived in Spain for several years before returning to work as a journalist in Ireland.

His first novel, The South, won a literary prize in 1991, and his other works include The Heather Blazing, The Blackwater Lightship, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize, and some of his non-fiction works include Homage to Barcelona and Love in a Dark Time.

Toibin won the E M Forster Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1995, and in 2000 he was a fellow at the Center for Scholars and Writers at New York Public Library.

The council was set up in 1951 to promote the knowledge, appreciation and practice of the arts in Ireland. It is a voluntary body of 12 members, and the chair, Ms Braiden, who are appointed by the Arts Minister for terms of five years.

The members include poet Theo Dorgan, actress Rosaleen Linehan and acclaimed author John McGahern, who passed away earlier this year, was also a member at the time of his death.

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