Irish Book Awards

Well, the Irish Book Awards were last night, and a fierce glittering occasion it was too. Famous Seamus (Heaney) held the whole room enthralled as he presented Edna O’Brien with the Lifetime Achievement Award, while Ronan O’Gara walked up to the podium with a video of his drop-goal against Wales playing in slow-motion from five angles with epic celtic music behind it, before saying that, after last weekend’s match (Leinster vs Munster), he didn’t think he’d be back in this ******* city so soon again!

We were delighted that both Judi Curtin and Celine Kiernan were short-listed for awards: and we were all crossing our fingers when the envelopes were opened. Neither picked up a gong, which was disappointing for them and us, but they enjoyed the occasion and all the winners were worthy of the awards, so we won’t hold grudges for too long on that score …

The mood among the industry was very much “don’t mention the war” and it is clear that everybody is hurting badly in the Current Economic Environment. Still, we must all be doing SOMETHING right when you consider the quality and class of the nominees and the great spirit of cooperation and friendship that is undeniable on a night like that.