Husband of late Emma Hannigan urges readers to vote for her novel in Irish Book Awards

Husband of late Emma Hannigan urges readers to vote for her novel in Irish Book Awards

By Sarah Slater

The husband of the late award-winning author Emma Hannigan is urging the public to vote for her novel, Letters to My Daughters, which has been shortlisted in the An Post Irish Book Awards.

The popular and award-winning novelist who had 14 novels published died on March 3 following a very public 11 year battle with breast cancer.

Her husband Cian McGrath, has posted on the Mum of two’s official Facebook page saying, “More voting requests I am afraid but for something different this time.

Emma has made the short list for the popular fiction book of the year in the Irish book awards. Please vote for her and get anyone else you can to do the same .... Thanks Cian.

Letters to My Daughters, which detailed her life living with and battling cancer went to number one across several categories on the best selling chart, within days of her post telling that her fight against the disease was about to end.

Hundreds of her reading fans responded to Cian’s post on her Facebook page.

One said: “Still very sadly missed. Vote done have no doubt Emma will be the winner,” while another added: “Done absolutely loved everyone of her books, cannot wait for her new one to be released Wish she was still with us but he memory will never die,” and “I was just remembering Emma yesterday as I was driving....thinking she would already be getting excited about the Christmas season. She will always have my vote!”


The Irish Book Awards have become a landmark event in the Irish bookselling calendar. Votes may be cast until November 23.

RTÉ broadcaster, Keelin Shanley will preside over the gala awards ceremony which takes place on Tuesday, November 27 at the Clayton Hotel, and an hour-long programme of the highlights will be shown later in the week.

To tie in with the announcement of the An Post Irish Book Awards shortlist, the public are now being asked to cast their votes online for the best books of the year on the, An Post Irish Book Awards website, irishbookawards.irish/vote2018/.

In addition to the category winners, two additional special awards will also be announced this month.The Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award, which recognises the contribution of distinguished Irish writers and poets, and the International Recognition Award, a special award made to international authors who have contributed substantially to the health and wealth of the Irish book-trade.

Last month, Emma’s publishers Hachette Books Ireland, Headline Publishing Group and Emma's family announced that her final novel, 'The Gift of Friends', will be published next February.

Her editors, Ciara Doorley and Sherise Hobbs, revealed the first draft of the book was emailed to them in January, and just days before she passed away Emma emailed the acknowledgements for the book.

Her family said that they were delighted to reveal to her fans about her "one last gift”.

In 2005, Emma discovered that she was carrying the Brca 1 cancer gene. This meant she had an 85 per cent chance of developing breast cancer and a 50% chance of developing ovarian cancer.

To reduce her risk to 5%, the brave Mum opted for preventative surgery. In 2006 Emma had a double mastectomy and had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed.

However, in 2007, in spite of the surgery, she was diagnosed with cancer for the first time and her lengthy battle ensued.


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