I’m so thrilled to announce that I’ve been chosen as the 2016 winner of the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. It is both an exciting moment in my writing life, and a joyful moment for me personally. I’m deeply grateful to the benefactors of the Prize, Patricia and Dan Rooney, and also to Peter Rooney, who presented me with this year’s award on behalf of his family. My thanks, also, to the selection committee at Trinity College, to Gerald Dawe, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Éilís Ní Dhuibhne, Carlo Gébler, Riana O’Dwyer, and Jonathan Williams. My heartfelt thanks to Sinéad Petony for her support and guidance throughout the award.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of this prestigious prize, and Trinity College organised a fitting celebration of the generosity of the Rooney Family to Irish writers. It was truly amazing to be in a room with so many gifted writers: Anne Enright, Frank McGuinness, Sara Baume, Kevin Barry, and Medbh McGuckian to name just a handful.
I’m so moved by this award, it’s a moment of my life that I will always cherish. You can read more in the Irish Times, here, in the Irish Examiner here, or in the Irish Independent here. I’m still very overwhelmed by the enormity of this event so rather than try to describe how wondrous it was, I’ll show some pictures instead.
Here’s a video made by Trinity College to mark the event.