About the Awards
The Irish Book Awards are a set of industry-recognition awards set up by a coalition of Irish booksellers in 2007. The awards are owned by Irish Book Awards Ltd, a not-for-profit company presided over by a board comprising of Executive Director: Alastair Giles, current Chair: Maria Dickenson, Larry Mac Hale, Brendan Corbett, and John Treacy. These individuals also attend an advisory board along with representatives from publishers, sponsors and partners.
The Irish Book Awards was founded by Derek Hughes in 2006, and project managed by Hughes and Hughes Booksellers. In later years the awards were expanded and widened by the support of the whole Irish book-selling and publishing industry. The lifetime achievement award is named after Bob Hughes, Derek’s father.
The over-riding motivation behind the awards is to celebrate the extraordinary quality of Irish writing, to help bring the best books to a wider readership annually, and to promote an industry under intense competitive pressures.
From a small base of three initial categories, the awards now include eighteen categories spanning the literary genres. Thousands of ordinary readers vote to select the winners every year. Libraries and bookshops showcase the best books of the year in the critical sales period of the fourth quarter. The Awards Dinner has become the major event in the literary calendar with Taoisigh and Presidents as guests of honour. Since 2011, highlights of the awards have been shown on RTÉ television. In 2018, headline sponsorship passed from Bord Gáis Energy to An Post who, in a very short time, have demonstrated total commitment to the awards and remarkable dynamism in their championing of Irish literary culture in general.
Exclusively Irish, inclusive in every other sense, the Irish Book Awards brings together the entire literary community – readers, authors, booksellers, publishers and librarians – like no other awards. These are your awards – join us in celebrating Irish writing.