Irish Book Awards

Supported by

Bord Gáis Energy
  • RTE Arts
  • Sunday Independent
  • RTE One
  • Books Are My Bag
  • RTE Radio
  • Eason Book Club
  • Specsavers
  • writing.ie
  • Irish Independent
  • thejournal.ie
  • Avonmore
  • Listowel Writers’ Week
  • National Book Awards
  • Ireland AM

Jilly Cooper acceptance speech

The Bord Gáis Energy International Recognition Award 2016 was presented to bestselling author Jilly Cooper.

Here is the acceptance speech from Jilly:

Ladies and Gentlemen

I am so over excited. Ever since my parents took me on holiday to the Island of Achill, when I was a child, I’ve been in love with Ireland – land of Yeats, Synge, Somerville and Ross, Oscar Wilde and Marian Keyes and so many great writers – A LAND WHERE NOBODY GETS OLD AND BITTER OF TONGUE, AND EVEN THE OLD – like me – ARE FAIR.

When I first heard I had won the International Recognition Award, I burst into tears of joy. It was the most heavenly compliment, I’ve ever received. 

I still can’t believe I’ve been honoured in this way. But any excuse to come back to Dublin. And now I’ve got so many people to thank;

I must start with the award’s incredibly generous sponsors, Bord Gáis Energy. A wonderful English trainer called Henry Candy – when he won a big race the other day, wrote to the sponsor to thank him for the prize money – and the sponsor – like me – burst into tears, he was so touched. I don’t think people thank sponsors nearly enough for encouraging writers to write and readers to read so thank you Bord Gáis.

I’m also so flattered and grateful that Marian Keyes has presented me with my prize –I feel like one of Aiden O’Brien’s horses entering the Winner’s Enclosure 

Finally, I’d like to thank all the wonderful Irish booksellers who’ve given me such great support and sold my books so marvellously over the years.