2016 International DUBLIN Literary Award Show Opener


The International Dublin Literary Award,
funded and run by Dublin City Council is one of the world’s most prestigious
literary awards. Now in its 21st year, the award is one of the highlights of the
international literary calendar. The International Dublin Literary Award is
truly global. I think it’s astonishing that we have such a prominent award
particularly when you consider the prize money that’s on offer for it as well and the
amount of focus that it gives to Dublin as a city that’s connected with
literature, both in the past and it’s something that is ongoing as part of the
UNESCO City of literature. I think the awards are hugely important
for Dublin first of all there a recognition of our
UNESCO status as an International City of Literature, but it also plays so
strongly into our heritage as a great city that great writers have come from. Dublin has got its designation as UNESCO City of Literature on the basis of all
of the living writers. The writers who are living and working in the city today. Initiatives such as the Dublin International Literary Award have consolidated Dublin as a literary centre of excellence on the world stage. I am delighted that Dublin City Council
is now the sole sponsor of this award. Agus bá bhaith liom tré seo a cur le Cathrach Bhaile Átha Cliath. The great thing about the prize is that it embraces all languages, all countries and all stories. The award was conceived about 20 years
ago. We were so pleased with its contribution to the life of the city and
particularly the literary life, that we felt it was well worth continuing and we’re
delighted now that it is a City Council initiative, sponsored by the City Council
and generating, we believe very significant benefits for the city. Worldwide Dublin is known as a literary city and I think that this prize is becoming every year more and more
important. I think the prize itself is an ambassador
for literature on a global scale. Books I think still have a really
central place in Ireland. I think that the awards are the
highlight of that the literary calendar in Ireland and they are a unique, and a
and a prestigious part of our rich literary history. “When I die Dublin will be written in my heart” James Joyce “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall” Oliver Goldsmith “Her theme was happiness: What it was; what it was not; where we might find it, where not; and how if found, it must be
guarded.” Mary Lavin “Some men see things as they are and ask
why? Others dream things that never were and ask why not?” George Bernard Shaw “We are all in the gutter, but some of us
are looking at the Stars” Oscar Wilde “Out of the debris of history, a song, a
name, a life we pieced together from odds and ends” Paula Meehan “My hegira was to the Grand Canal where
again I saw the beauty of water and green grass and the magic of light” Patrick Kavanagh And of course it’s a prize which has
become greatly coveted by writers everywhere. And not only because of the value of the
cheque that accompanies it, but also mostly, I really hope mostly, because of
the validation it provides to every book that is
nominated, or longlisted or shortlisted or declared the lucky winner. James’ book has been smiled upon by prizes in its year since publication, but I feel like this
is really the pinnacle of its achievement and it’s a very happy day. The way it’s nominated, the manner in
which its nominated, it comes from the libraries, so it means that it’s sort
of open, it’s not elitist. It’s a great match for library objectives,
which is bringing people and books together, bringing people to books they may never have read and bringing people to new writers. But its global span and the
list that it has built up is unarguable. I think it’s a lovely thing that the City
Council sponsor this award and it’s a great tribute to the city as a place where books and literature are valued.

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