Shortlists Announced for the 2020 Publishing Awards as Gaeilge

The shortlists were announced today, 18th of August 2020, by An tOireachtas, in conjunction with Foras na Gaeilge, for Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin (Irish-Language Book of the Year for Adults), Gradam Réics Carló (Irish-Language Book of the Year for Children) and Gradam de Bhaldraithe (Irish-Language Book of the Year for publications translated to Irish).

Twenty one (21) books in total have been shortlisted – eight (8) in the category, ‘Irish-Language Book of the Year for Adults’, seven (7) in the Children’s Book category and six (6) in the category for translated works. The Publishing Houses shortlisted include An tSnáthaid Mhór, Cló Iar-Chonnacht, Dalen Éireann, Éabhlóid, Futa Fata, Leabhar Breac, Móinín and LeabhairCOMHAR. Full details of works are available below.

The criteria for adjudication includes: treatment of the subject matter; standard of Irish; design including text, cover, illustrations and adherence to good practice in publishing; and the extent to which the publication caters for demand in the market.

"I congratulate all the Publishing Houses who have been shortlisted this year", said Liam Ó Maolaodha, Director of An tOireachtas. “We have now come to expect fierce competition in all categories and this year is certainly no exception. All the books featuring on the 2020 shortlists are a testament to the breadth and depth of Irish-language publishing and writing

talent. The energy and creativity with which publishers and writers continued to work through the challenging period of lockdown is an inspiration to us all and augers well for the sector into the future. I wish them every success”, he said.

The Foras na Gaeilge Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Edel Ní Chorráin, said, “Irish language publishers are doing a fantastic work with high quality books coming out year after year. The authors, translators, illustrators and publishers are to be commended for making these wonderful books available to the Irish language community. These shortlists show that Irish language publishing covers a wide range of topics and that there are books to cater for everyone’s needs. It is always difficult to choose winners from the options on shortlists and this is definitely the case again this year.”

The winners of the awards will be announced in early October 2020. A collective prize fund of €17,000 will be awarded. Details of all publications are available at

More Information:

Louise Ní Dháibhéid, An tOireachtas T: 00353 87 100 5439 E:


Notes for Editor

  1. Prizes will be awarded as follows: €5,000 to the publisher of the book chosen for Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin and €2,500 to the author of the work; €5,000 to the publisher of the book chosen for Gradam Réics Carló, €1,250 to the author of the work and €1,250 to the illustrator; €1,500 to the publisher of the book chosen for Gradam de Bhaldraithe and €500 to the author of the work.
  2. The Irish Publishing Awards are funded by Foras na Gaeilge.
  3. An tOireachtas is a lead organization in the Irish-Language sector charged with ‘Organising & Promoting Events as Gaeilge & Establishing Irish-Language Networks’.
  4. Oireachtas Literary Competitions were established in 1897 and provide a platform for Irish-language writing today. Some of the greatest Irish writers of the last century are past winners, Pádraig Mac Piarais, Máirtín Ó Cadhain and Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill.
  5. The national arts and culture festival, Oireachtas na Samhna, established in 1897, is the annual showcase event organized by An tOireachtas. The festival has been held without fail every year since 1939 – no Oireachtas festival was held in the early years of the new Irish State as many of the organisers were involved in the new political landscape of the time in Ireland.
  6. An tOireachtas organizes and promotes an extensive calendar of events, including the Annual Oireachtas Media Awards, to celebrate excellence in the Irish language media; the Oireachtas Literary Competitions, to promote new Irish writing; and a series of sporting, cultural and arts events in various locations throughout the 32 counties.
  7. All up to date information regarding our events is available online at
  8. Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin MÁCHAIL written by Ré Ó Laighléis, published by Móinín – This is a multi-layered story which is artistically and sensitively crafted into a mesmeric tapestry. It is disturbingly reflective of happenings in the modern world. A work of mystery, adventure and philosophy, all in one. It is a remarkable work on many fronts.

    AN DIABHAIL DÉANTA written by Joe Steve Ó Neachtain, published by Cló Iar-Chonnacht – In this collection of short stories, Joe Steve Ó Neachtain displays his inimitable style of writing, which combines a deep understanding of human nature, a courageous eye on social issues and lyrical language.

    SA TEACHT SEO ANOCHT written by Micheál Ó Conghaile, published by Cló Iar-Chonnacht – This is a new novel by Micheál Ó Conghaile. Sa Teach Seo Anocht tells the story of a man who is about to walk out and leave his home, the house in which he was born and reared, and his family behind.

    CROÍ CINE collected by Seán de Fréine, published by Cló Iar-Chonnacht Croí Cine is a unique anthology of writing that provides a comprehensive and wide-ranging introduction to Irish-language writing, which extends from the 1600s to the end of the 20th century. Croí Cine is a collection of hundreds of short excerpts from Irish-language literature, which features some of the best examples of poetry, sayings and opinion writing in Irish across hundreds of years.

    AN BAILE BEAG GÉIMIÚIL: AMHRÁIN NA TRÁ BÁINE edited by Sinéad Ní Ráinne, published by Cló Iar-Chonnacht – An Trá Bháin –– in Connemara, is widely known for its folklore and traditional song. This book and the enclosed CD, contain sixteen songs which were composed either in the area itself, or by people from the area who had emigrated.

    TINE GHEALÁIN written by Máire Dinny Wren, published by Éabhlóid – There are over fifty poems in the collection which reveal the heart and spirit of the author, her people and culture. Her poems are deeply rooted in the traditions and folklore of her native home. There is a heartfelt humanity in her work that allows us to feel, learn and understand deeper about the world around us. The poems are located in present day Northwest Donegal, with some references to the author’s past and growing up in the countryside.

    BEALACH NA SPÁINNEACH written by Liam Mac Cóil, published by Leabhar Breac – The third and final book in the Lúcás Ó Briain series (An Litir). The final book of a trilogy of novels that crosses Europe on the company of Lúcás Ó Briain in the early years of the 16th Century, with the enemy snapping at our heels.

    ÉADAOIN Swritten by Diarmuid Johnson, published by Leabhar Breac – The story of Éadaoin is our finest Old Irish love story, a story that survived in fragments found in The Book of the Dun Cow and in The Yellow Book of Leacan. Diarmuid Johnson has combined all these various fragments and knitted them into a whole — filling the gaps and adding meat to the bones — to create a new old epic comparable to Helen of Troy or the story of Tristan and Isolde.

    Gradam Réics Carló SCÚNC AGUS SMUIRÍN written by Muireann Ní Chíobháin and illustrated by Paddy Donnelly, published by Futa Fata – Little Scúnc (Skunk) is inseparable from his soft toy friend, Smúirín (Sniffy). They go everywhere together. One of the things Scúnc most likes about Smúirín is his unmistakeable smell. Anytime Scúnc feels sad or anxious, a sniff of Smúirín makes everything ok again. Until the day that Smúirín loses his special smell. What can Scúnc do to make Smúirín his lovely old sniffable self again? Could Mommy Skunk help to put things right?

    AR STRAE written by Patricia Forde and illustrated by John White, published by Futa Fata – Nizar is a boy far from home, the war-torn land of Syria. A refugee, he lives in a converted hotel as his mother waits for news of permission to stay and news of Nizar’s father, lost in the fog of war. When Nizar meets a stray neglected dog, he decides to hide it in his room, a decision that adds to the boy’s already uncertain future.

    MÍP written by Máire Zepf and illustrated by Paddy Donnelly, published by Futa Fata – Míp is the smartest robot ever built. She is bound for Mars, to explore and maybe meet some aliens. She sends back lots of pictures, but there are no aliens anywhere. Then, disaster strikes…Can our brave hero survive, all alone? Based on real events, (mostly!), the story of MÍP, is of a plucky little robot that bravely goes where no other Irish-speaking robot has gone before.

    AN FÉILEACÁN AGUS AN RÍ written by Máire Zepf and illustrated by Shona Shirley Macdonald, published by Futa Fata – A retelling for the 21st century of one of Ireland’s most beautiful legends, first written down in the 12th century! The story of Éadaoin, turned into a butterfly by a jealous rival for the love of King Mír.

    BRÍSTE AN CHEOLTÓRA written by Pádraig Standún and illustrated by Clifford Hayes and Deirdre Ní Thuathail, published by Cló Iar-Chonnacht – Jessica and Simon are attending summer college. They are also attending music classes and would love to be musicians, but they're daunted by all of the practising that's required. What if they could get around the practice problem?

    RITA AGUS AN NINJA written by Máire Zepf and illustrated by Andrew Whitson, published by An tSnathaid Mhór - Rita is a little girl with big ideas. She loves to hide.She would like to train to be a Ninja. Then, Rita would be quiet, quick and invisible. But how will it all end?

    NEANSAÍ AR AN BHFEIRM written by Orna Ní Choileáin and illustrated by Aidan J. Collions, published by LeabhairCOMHAR – Neansaí is an adventurer, and a delight. Everyone thinks that butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth until she proves otherwise. A lovely picture book for younger readers in which a little girl makes some unlikely friends on the farm. Lively cartoon-like illustrations by Aidan J. Collins perfectly depict this funny story.

    Gradam de Bhaldraithe ZOG written by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler and translated by Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin, published by Futa Fata – Zog is the keenest dragon in school. He’s also the most accident-prone. Luckily, a mysterious little girl always comes by and patches up his bumps and bruises. But will she be able to help him with this tightest test: capturing a princess?

    DIALANN DÚRADÁIN: AN FHÍRINNE SHEARBH written by Jeff Kinney and translated by Máirín Nic Con Iomaire, published by Futa Fata Greg Heffley has always been in a hurry to grow up. But is getting older really all it's cracked up to be? Greg suddenly finds himself dealing with the pressures of boy-girl parties, increased responsibilities, and even the awkward changes that come with getting older—all without his best friend, Rowley, at his side. Can Greg make it through on his own? Or will he have to face the "ugly truth"?

    SLAT RÍOGA OTTOKA written by Hergé and translated by Gabriel Rosenstock, published by Dalen Éireann – Tintin travels to the small kingdom of Syldavia where he is witness to a conspiracy against the young king, Múisc Áir XII. The plotters plan to steal the ancient Sceptre of King Ottokar, symbol of the new king’s right to rule. Should the plot succeed, the king will lose his crown and his country will face invasion. With traitors at every turn, can Tintin help the king before it’s too late?

    ASTERIX igCOILL CINSEALACHTA written by René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo and translated by Gabriel Rosenstock, published by Dalen Éireann – Asterix and his fellow Gaulish villagers stand between Rome and ancient-world domination. Caesar wants rid of these troublesome Gauls and plans to plant their corner of the Empire with Roman settlers. But Asterix and his friends stubbornly stand their ground —until money begins to speak louder than words. Before long, disharmony is rife amongst the Gaulish villagers and Caesar’s plan seems on the verge of success. Is it too late for the Gauls to realise their whole existence is threatened by the Roman plantation?

    NICOLÁS BEAG: EACHTRAÍ written by John René Goscinny and Jean-Jacques Sempé and translated by Séamus Ó Coileáin, published by Dalen Éireann – This is Nioclás Beag, the energetic, amusing and endearing schoolboy who’s always in some kind of trouble. Whether at home or at school, Nioclás and his friends are caught up in a series of hilarious escapades that always result in confusion. Brought to life by René Goscinny, the prolific author of Asterix, and renowned illustrator Jean-Jacques Sempé, his adventures and exploits have delighted readers all over the world, and are now available to be read, re-read, and loved forever in Irish.

    AR LUCH AGUS AR DHUINE written by John Steinbeck and translated by Colmcille Ó Monacháin, published by Leabhar Breac Of Mice and Men is one of the most powerful stories written by John Steinbeck. There is the roughness, and the mysticism and the contempt, but kindness and love dominate the story. It is a short story but readers will remember it for a long time. This short novel translated by Colmcille Ó Monacháin is one of the finest literary translations published in many a long year.