It’s a been a week of triumphs for rugby legend Brian O’Driscoll.
Not only did he bring home his new baby Billy but last night he won the gong for Sports Book of the Year at the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book Awards.
Brian beat off Irish football assistant manager Roy Keane for the award in what has topped off a stellar year for the former Irish centre.
“I’m delighted to win the award, I never thought I’d win, especially given the company,” he told the Herald.
Other winners on the night included presenter Graham Norton who won the National Book Tokens Non-Fiction Book of the Year and confessed he was surprised at his win.
“I’m delighted but equally embarrassed, given that I was up against people who actually write for a living,” Norton said.
Top author Cecelia Ahern won the Pop Fiction Award for The Year I Met You and it marked her first win after eight nominations.
“After eight nominations I nearly fell off my seat when I won but it’s a massive honour and I get star-struck with all the authors,” she gushed.
Iconic author Jeffrey Archer also picked up a gong and said he was “honoured” to have been recognised on the night.
“What an honour for an Englishman to be honoured by the Irish Book Awards,” he said.
“Ireland is the most literary nation on earth and has the biggest per capita book readers on earth so it’s fantastic,” he added.
Majella O’Donnell took the John Murray Show Listener’s Choice Award and said her win was “surreal”.
First time novelist Mary Costello picked up the Eason Novel of the Year award for Academy Street.
Chris O’Dowd’s book Moone Boy trumped Roddy’s Doyle’s Brilliant in the Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year.
The Ireland AM Crime Book went to Liz Nugent for her thriller Unravelling Oliver, while Louise O’Neill took home the Sunday Independent’s Newcomer of the Year Award with Only Ever Yours. RTE broadcaster Keelin Shanley hosted the evening with radio host John Murray, TV3’s Sinead Desmond, Brendan O’Connor of the Sunday Independent and Newstalk’s George Hook presenting the awards.