O’Gara ditches the blues by scooping top book award

RONAN O’GARA was back on winning form last night when he scooped a prize for his autobiography at the Irish Book Awards.

Top prize for Irish novel of the year was won by Sebastian Barry, author of the much acclaimed The Secret Scripture.

Barry also came out on top in another category, by winning the RTÉ Radio 1 Tubridy show listeners’ choice award.

One of the most hotly contested categories in this year’s awards turned out to be the International Education Services Irish Newcomer of the Year where Dubliner Ronan O’Brien, author of Confessions of a Fallen Angel, beat off stiff competition from Kathryn Thomas, Kevin Power and Celine Kiernan.

This year for the first time, Irish crime writing was celebrated with the addition of the Ireland AM Irish Crime Fiction Book of the Year which saw Alex Barclay win against stiff opposition like Tana French, Arlene Hunt and Brian McGilloway.

The gala dinner at the Mansion House in Dublin, saw a host of national and international authors come together to celebrate the best of Irish literature published in the last year. Among those in attendance were Roddy Doyle and American filmmaker and author Rebecca Miller.

Acclaimed Irish novelist, playwright and short story writer Edna O’Brien was this year’s recipient of the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award which was presented by Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney.

The Argosy Irish non-fiction book of the year was won by Stepping Stones by Seamus Heaney and Dennis O’Driscoll and the Eason Irish popular fiction award went to This Charming Man by Marian Keyes.

The sports book of the year prize was scooped by Ronan O’Gara and the best Irish published book of the year was won by The Parish by Alice Taylor and published by Brandon Books.

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