MU's Dr Katriona O'Sullivan wins two Irish Book Awards

Dr Katriona O'Sullivan at the An Post Irish Book Awards 2023
Thursday, November 23, 2023 - 12:00

 Maynooth University congratulates Dr Katriona O’Sullivan, Digital Skills Senior Lecturer in the Department of Psychology and the ALL Institute, who won two awards at this year’s An Post Irish Book Awards.

Dr O’Sullivan won the Biography of the Year Award and the Listeners’ Choice Award for Poor, her account of her journey from a chaotic and deprived childhood to award-winning academic who champions access to education for all.

Former President of Maynooth Students’ Union Leon Diop, who holds a Psychology degree from MU, also won the Teen and Young Adult Book of the Year Award for his book Black & Irish: Legends, Trailblazers and Everyday Heroes.

Written with Briana Fitzsimons, it is the first book to profile Black Irish people and includes inspirational figures like professional footballer and Ireland goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu and musician and songwriter Phil Lynott. 

Two other members of staff at Maynooth University were nominated for the awards which were announced at an event in Dublin’s Convention Centre last night.

Booker Prize nominee Paul Lynch, who is Maynooth’s Writer-in-Residence and a lecturer on the MA in Creative Writing, was shortlisted in the Novel of the Year category for Prophet Song, a devastating vision of a government sliding towards tyranny and a deeply human portrait of a mother’s fight to protect her family. His Booker rival Paul Murray won this category with his novel, The Bee Sting

Professor Fionntán de Brún of MU’s Department of Modern Irish was nominated for Irish Language Fiction Book of the Year for Béal na Péiste, which is mostly set during World War II in Ireland and Germany but also features episodes in New York, Buenos Aires, Paris and Brussels.

The Irish Book Awards are announced annually and celebrate the best of Irish writing, from both new and established writers. Ordinary readers are invited to choose the winners of the awards, which are made across 20 categories and cover all kinds of writing from poetry to cookbooks. In 2018, An Post took over headline sponsorship of the awards from Bord Gáis Energy.