Seamus Heaney to receive lifetime achievement award

BY LOUISE CONVERY

Mid Ulster poet Seamus Heaney is to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Irish Book Awards.

From Bellaghy, Heaney now lives in Dublin and has received many awards including the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1995. He will pick up his award at the annual Awards Dinner in the RDS in Dublin on November 17.

“Booksellers, like readers and critics, have favourite writers.It is those good friends of the book trade that our Lifetime Achievement Award is designed to honour and no writer has been a greater friend to Irish booksellers than Seamus Heaney,” a spokesperson for the awards said.

“The great body of work is there, monumental to behold, built to last, and sure to be read in a hundred years time. For all of these reasons, the Board of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards would like to award the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award to Seamus Heaney.”

Other authors shortlisted for the awards include Sebastian Barry, Neil Jordan, Derek Landy, Benjamin Black and Alan Glynn, whose previous novel was adapted to the acclaimed Hollywood movie ‘Limitless’, alongside a host of newcomers including cystic fibrosis campaigner Orla Tinsley, comedian Des Bishop, radio presenter Joe Duffy, award-winning jockey Tony McCoy, scriptwriter/director John Butler and Irish rugby player Donncha O’Callaghan.

This is the sixth year of the ‘Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards,’ which are dedicated to honouring Irish writers across the entire publishing spectrum. The public are being asked to cast their vote on the best books of the last year via the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards website www.irishbookawards.ie and every person who votes will be in with a chance of winning one of five €100 National Book Token vouchers.

RTÉ Television will broadcast the highlights of the awards ceremony on RTÉ One on Thursday, November 24 at 10.45pm.