Paul Murray wins Novel of the Year for The Bee Sting at the An Post Irish Book Awards

Other winners include Mark Moriarty for Cookbook of the Year, and Katriona O’Sullivan for Biography of the Year and Listener’s Choice Award

Winners of this year’s Irish Book Awards include Liz Nugent, Mark Moriarty, Róise Ní Bhaoill, Roz Purcell, Mark O’Connell, Sophie White, Paul Murray, Katriona O’Sullivan, Colin Walsh and Sarah Binchy.

Winners of awards in 20 categories were announced at a ceremony on Wednesday evening at Dublin’s Convention Centre.

Also among the winners in the An Post Irish Book Awards, which have run since 2006, were Eimear Ryan, Claire Keegan, Peter Donnelly, Sarah Webb and Lucinda Jacob, as well as Moïra Fowley.

Novel of the Year Award went to Paul Murray, who is also shortlisted for the Booker Prize, while Katriona O’Sullivan won two prizes for Poor, winning both Biography of the Year and Listeners’ Choice Award.


Among the award-winners is chef and new Irish Times recipe columnist Mark Moriarty, whose book Flavour won Cookbook of the Year.

Halfway up the Stairs in Greystones, Co Wicklow was named Bookshop of the Year.

This year’s Irish Book of the Year will be announced on a television show hosted by Oliver Callan on RTÉ One on December 6th, which will look at the final six books up for the overall award, which are selected by judging panel Madeleine Keane, Sinead Moriarty, Rick O’Shea, Cyril McGrane, Elaina Ryan and Tomás Kenny.

The book award shortlists are compiled by two panels, of booksellers and librarians, and of literary journalists and critics. Libraries and bookshops showcase the shortlisted books, and winners in each category are decided by a combination of an online public poll where thousands of readers vote, and a voting academy poll.

Among the nominees were Irish Times books editor Martin Doyle for Dirty Linen: The Troubles in My Home Place; two Irish Times columnists both nominated for Popular Fiction Book of the Year, Ross O’Carroll Kelly for Camino Royale, and Emer McLysaght, nominated with Sarah Breen, for their book Aisling Ever After; and another Irish Times columnist, Alan Titley, whose Ag dul i bhfad was nominated for Irish Language Fiction Book of the Year.

Prof Roy Foster was presented with the Bob Hughes Lifetime Achievement Award. Foster has written a two-part biography of WB Yeats and his books on Irish history include The Revolutionary Generation in Ireland, 1890-1923; he has taught at University of London, Oxford, and Princeton.

Chairman of the awards Brenden Corbett said they were made “through a broad coalition of readers, writers, publishers, sponsors, booksellers and librarians”, and this year’s Irish books by established writers were joined by “a number of incredibly talented newcomers who are a wonderful addition to the Irish literary scene”. An Post chief executive David McRedmond said “quality writing has never been more important than in turbulent times, whether fiction illuminating our inner lives, or non-fiction the world outside”. An additional award, New Voices, was added this year, “for communities who have been marginalised or traumatised, to give voice to their experiences” and the award was open to Ukrainian refugees. “An Post’s sponsorship is more than financial: it is driven from the deepest passion for writing,” he said.

Winners: An Post Irish Book Awards 2023

Eason Novel of the Year

The Bee Sting – Paul Murray (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House) Best Irish Published Book of the Year

Sunday Miscellany: A Selection 2018-2023 – Edited by Sarah Binchy (New Island Books)

Bookselling Ireland Biography of the Year

Poor – Katriona O’Sullivan (Sandycove)

Cookbook of the Year

Flavour – Mark Moriarty, photography by Cliodhna Prendergast (Gill Books)

Bookstation Lifestyle Book of the Year

The Hike Life – Roz Purcell (Black and White Publishing)

Dubray Non-Fiction Book of the Year

A Thread of Violence – Mark O’Connell (Granta Books)

Eason Sports Book of the Year in association with Ireland AM

The Grass Ceiling – Eimear Ryan (Sandycove)

Library Association of Ireland Author of the Year

Claire Keegan (Faber & Faber)

Irish Independent Crime Fiction Book of the Year

Strange Sally Diamond – Liz Nugent (Sandycove)

Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year

Kala – Colin Walsh (Atlantic Books)

National Book Tokens Popular Fiction Book of the Year

My Hot Friend – Sophie White (Hachette Books Ireland)

Foras na Gaeilge Irish Language Fiction Book of the Year Award

Imram agus Scéalta Eile – Róise Ní Bhaoill (Éabhlóid)

The Last Word Listeners’ Choice Award

Poor – Katriona O’Sullivan (Sandycove)

New Voices: The An Post Writing Prize

The Border / Кордон – Valeriia Shmyrova

International Education Services Teen and Young Adult Book of the Year, in honour of John Treacy

Black and Irish: Legends, Trailblazers and Everyday Heroes – Leon Diop and Briana Fitzsimons, illustrated by Jessica Louis (Little Island Books and Black and Irish)

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Junior

The President’s Dog – Peter Donnelly (Gill Books)

Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year – Senior

I Am the Wind: Irish Poems for Children Everywhere – Edited by Lucinda Jacob and Sarah Webb, illustrated by Ashwin Chacko (Little Island Books) Short Story of the Year

Such A Pretty Face – Moïra Fowley (Eyes Guts Throat Bones, Orion)

Listowel Writers’ Week Poem of the Year

Vectors in Kabul – Mary O’Donnell

An Post Bookshop of the Year

Halfway up the Stairs – Greystones, Co Wicklow

Deirdre Falvey

Deirdre Falvey

Deirdre Falvey is a features and arts writer at The Irish Times