Irish Book Awards

Winners of the An Post Irish Book Awards 2019 announced

November 20, 2019

  • Joseph O’Connor, Vicky Phelan, Sinéad Gleeson, Joe Duffy and Freya McClements, Andrea Corr, Richie Sadlier, Anne Griffin and Jane Casey among the winners 
  • Colm Tóibín honoured with Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Voting now open for the ‘An Post Book of the Year’

Joseph O’Connor, Vicky Phelan and Andrea Corr were among the winning authors at this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards, held in Dublin this evening.

First awarded in 2006, the An Post Irish Book Awards showcase a diverse mix of exceptional writing from new and established writers across sixteen categories, with this year’s star-studded awards ceremony taking place in the Convention Centre Dublin. A host of Ireland’s leading writers, publishers, booksellers and media personalities were all in attendance to see the winners claim their awards.

Acclaimed Irish author and journalist Colm Tóibín received the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the central position he has occupied in the cultural life of Ireland for over three decades, with works including Brooklyn, The Master and The Testament of Mary.

This year’s ceremony was hosted by Miriam O’Callaghan and Evelyn O’Rourke, and full highlights of the An Post Irish Book Awards will be broadcast on RTÉ One at 11.15pm on Saturday 23rd November.

Below is the full list of winners for the ‘An Post Irish Book Awards 2019’:

RTÉ Radio 1 Listeners’ Choice Award

  • Overcoming – Vicky Phelan with Naomi Linehan (Hachette Books) – Championed by Ray D’Arcy

Bord Gáis Energy Sports Book of the Year

  • Recovering – Richie Sadlier with Dion Fanning (Gill Books)

Avoca Cookbook of the Year

  • Cornucopia: The Green Cookbook – Tony Keogh, Aoife Carrigy, the Chefs of Cornucopia, Deirdre and Dairine McCafferty (Gill Books)

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

  • Cruel Acts – Jane Casey (HarperFiction)

Bookselling Ireland Non-Fiction Book of the Year

  • Constellations – Sinéad Gleeson (Picador) Best Irish-Published Book of the Year

  • Children of the Troubles – Joe Duffy and Freya McClements (Hachette Books Ireland)

Love Leabhar Gaeilge Irish Language Book of the Year

  • Tairngreacht – Proinsias Mac a’Bhaird (LeabhairComhar)

Dept51@Eason Teen & Young Adult Book of the Year

  • Other Words for Smoke – Sarah Maria Griffin (Titan Books)

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Senior

  • Shooting for the Stars – My Journey to Become Ireland’s First Astronaut – Norah Patten, illustrated by Jennifer Farley (The O’Brien Press)

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Junior

  • 123 Ireland! – Aoife Dooley (Little Island Books)

Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

  • When All is Said – Anne Griffin (Hodder & Stoughton)

National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year

  • Once, Twice, Three Times an Aisling – Emer McLysaght and Sarah Breen (Gill Books)

Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year

  • Salt Rain – Audrey Molloy (Mslexia, September 2019) Short Story of the Year Award

  • Parrot – Nicole Flattery (The Stinging Fly, Issue 39, Volume 2, Winter 2018-19)

Ireland AM Popular Non-Fiction Book of the Year

  • Barefoot Pilgrimage – Andrea Corr (HarperNonFiction)

Eason Novel of the Year

  • Shadowplay – Joseph O’Connor (Harvill Secker)

Commenting on this year’s winners, Maria Dickinson, Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards, said: “Every year the competition seems to get fiercer, and the bar raised even higher – and this year is no exception, as the quality of the award winners demonstrates. From fiction to non-fiction, poetry to Irish language writing, the winning titles reflect the varied and diverse reading tastes of the Irish public. 

“Many of our winning authors reflect on contemporary or historical issues within Irish society, while others amuse, inspire and enthral through fantastic story-telling. Both the winning authors and all our shortlisted titles are a terrific testament to the strength and vitality of Irish writing – and long may this continue.”

David McRedmond, CEO at An Post, added: “I’m delighted that my good friend, the great writer, Colm Tóibín has been recognised with this Lifetime Achievement award. An Post and Irish booksellers both share common traits in that we take our business seriously – but not too seriously. More importantly, we share a desire to act for the common good, and a healthy fascination with people and place. These Awards celebrate this so very well.”

This year, over 115,000 votes were cast by the book-loving public to select the winners in each category, and readers everywhere are now being invited to vote for their overall ‘An Post Irish Book of the Year’ at

The winner will be announced in January, and all voters are also in with a chance of winning €100 worth of National Book Tokens. Previous winners include Emilie Pine for Notes to Self, John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil, Mike Murphy and John Borgonovo for Atlas of the Irish Revolution, Mike McCormack for Solar Bones, Louise O’Neill for Asking For It, Mary Costello for Academy St, Donal Ryan for The Spinning Heart, Michael Harding for Staring at Lakes, and Belinda McKeon for Solace.

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