Shortlists for Irish-Language Books of the Year

The shortlists were announced today, 15th of August 2019, by An tOireachtas, in conjunction with Foras na Gaeilge, for Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin (Irish-Language Book of the Year for Adults), Gradam Réics Carló 2019 (Irish-Language Book of the Year for Children) and a brand new award for publications translated to Irish, Gradam de Bhaldraithe.


Adjudication is based on merit of publication; standard of Irish; design including text, cover, illustrations and publishing standards; and the extent to which the publication caters for demand in the market.

Seventeen (17) publications in total have been shortlisted – six (6) publications for Adult Book of the Year, five (5) for Children’s Book of the Year and six (6) publications translated to Irish. The Publishing Houses shortlisted include Cló Iar-Chonnacht, Cois Life, Dalen Éireann, Foilseacháin Ábhair Spioradálta, Futa Fata, Leabhar Breac and LeabhairCOMHAR. Full details of works are available below.

“I wish to congratulate all the publishers who have been shortlisted this year”, said Liam Ó Maolaodha, Director of An tOireachtas. “The Irish-language publishing sector has grown and developed and we are delighted, as an organization, to be associated with this and to acknowledge the excellent work being done. It gives us great encouragement that the seventeen books announced today have been published in the last ten months and I congratulate the publishing houses for their dedication, passion and excellent publishing standard”, he said.

The Foras na Gaeilge Chief Executive, Seán Ó Coinn, said, “I congratulate all the publishers who have reached this year’s shortlist. Irish-language publishing has grown greatly in the last 20 years; excellent books are being published, and there is a very good range available now in a wide range of genres, for people interested in Irish-language reading material. I am delighted to see the development of the Irish-Language Books of the Year Publishing Awards with a new award being introduced this year, Gradam de Bhaldraithe, giving due credit to the excellent works being translated. I wish the publishing houses every success”.

The awards, along with a collective prize fund of €17,000, will be presented at a special ceremony celebrating Irish language writing on the 1st of October 2019 in The Mansion House, Dublin. LeabhairCOMHAR will also unveil the 2020 Portraits of Irish-Language Writers at this event.

Details of all publications are available at

More Information:

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

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 & culture festival, Oireachtas na Samhna, is the annual showcase event organized by An tOireachtas featuring the best of sean-nós (traditional old style) performing arts. The festival programme includes junior and senior competitions, formal and informal music and singing sessions, exhibitions, seminars, drama and a host of fringe events.
  6. All up to date information regarding our events is available online at

Gradam Uí Shúilleabháin

GRÁINNE – GAISCÍOCH GAEL written by Siobhán Parkinson, published by Cois Life – 
Overlooked by history for centuries, Gráinne Ní Mháille has acquired near-mythic status in recent years. Schoolchildren learn about her, and her colourful life has given rise to interpretations of all kinds, from non-fiction to graphic novel to drama and music. But her extraordinary exploits and bravado have hogged the limelight, and until now there has not been a novel that seeks to present her as a woman with an inner life.
AN TROMDHÁMH written by Feargal Ó Béarra, published by Leabhar Breac - A retelling of the 14th century satirical tale, Tromdhámh Guaire. Feargal Ó Béarra’s new modern edition recounts the prolonged visit of the ‘burdensome band of bards’ to King Guaire, and its comic consequences — not to mention the ‘finding’ of the then long-lost tale ‘Táin Bó Cuailnge’. A story to savour and to delight in, written by an anonymous author around the 1300’s. A book to be relished by those who have a great love for our rhymers, past or present!
TITLEY written by Máirtín Coilféir, published by LeabhairComhar – A critical look at the life work of acclaimed writer, Alan Titley. It includes almost every piece that Titley wrote from 1965 to 2016. The book  focuses on Titley’s written and theatrical works rather than radio and television.
LUÍSE GHABHÁNACH NÍ DHUFAIGH: CEANNRÓDAÍ written by Celia de Fréine, published by LeabhairComhar – A biography of the remarkable and visionary woman Luíse Ghabhánach Ní Dhufaigh.
Tairngreacht written by Proinsias Mac a’ Bhaird, published by LeabhairComhar – Conchur Ó Braonáin’s life is completely turned upside down when he happens upon a gruesome murder on the summit of the O'Neill and O'Donnell graves in Rome. His own life is soon in danger.
LÁMH, LÁMH EILE written by Alan Titley, published by Cló Iar-Chonnacht – A hardboiled detective novel set in contemporary Ireland. This book has it all: detectives who couldn't be arsed, Gardaí who could, for the right price (maybe), the Russian mafia, hurlers on the ditch, barmaids wise beyond their years, a labyrinthine plot – a wry affectionate view of twenty-first-century Ireland beyond the Pale. Truly a fitting Gaelic homage to the works of Hammett and Chandler.

Gradam Réics Carló


BOSCADÁN written by Áine Ní Ghlinn, published by Cois Life – Aoife is building a cardboard robot, and all she wants is a bit of fun. When the robot takes on a life of its own, that’s when the real fun starts!


NÓINÍN written by Máire Zepf, published by Cois Life – Nóinín is a shy, reserved teenager. When she meets a young man online, she knows he isn’t like the other boys at school. She falls for him, head over heels. She doesn’t have much time anymore for her best friend, Eimear – she’s hooked on her newfound love. This is a story told in free verse, with Eimear and Nóinín each telling their side of the story.


SPÉIRLING written by Orna Ní Choileáin, published by Cois Life – Manon and Líosa are best friends in their teens, living on the island of Aruba. They spend most of their free time kayaking or shopping. When a new girl turns up out of the blue, their peaceful island life is disturbed …


BEAG BÍDEACH written by Sadhbh Devlin and illustrated by Róisín Hahessy, published by Futa Fata - Nína loves her little brother Jimí, but sometimes, he just gets in her way... Especially when she wants to play with her friends, the dolls. 


PERCY PÉACÓG written by Gemma Breathnach and illustrated by Tarsila Krüse, published by Futa Fata – Percy Peacock is shy. He doesn’t like being noticed. But there’s one big, beautiful, attention-grabbing thing about Percy that makes it very hard NOT to notice him. In a time of need, Percy realises that his attention-grabbing tail can be very useful … 



Gradam de Bhaldraithe

K.O.S.T.K.A. written by Przemyslaw Wysoglad SJ and translated by Mark Ó Fionnáin, published by Foilseacháin Ábhair Spioradálta – This comic tells the tale of Stazek and his brother Pawel. The story of two young people who made the long journey to Vienna to prepare for adulthood.
FILE AR FHILE written by Rimbaud, Anedda, Machado, Fried agus Chedid and translated by Liam Ó Muirthile, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Tomás Mac Síomóin, Gabriel Rosenstock, Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, published by Cois Life – an ambitious series of poetry in translation in which established Irish poets reinterpret the work of European poets who inspired them. Each collection has a number, with only a limited number being printed. This collection has treasures from the 19th Century of Europe to today.
MO THEACHÍN GAN CHUMA GAN CHAOI written by Julia Donaldson and translated by Tadhg Mac Dhonnagáin, published by Futa Fata – An old woman lives in a small cottage and is unhappy that the place is so small. She meets an intelligent old man and he gives her strange advice – to bring the cow, goat, pig and hen into the house. Will she be happy?
ASTERIX AGUS TROID NA dTREABH written by R. Goscinny & A. Uderzo and translated by Gabriel Rosenstock, published by Dalen Éireann – Tadhgus Dháthaobhix is an unscrupulous chieftain who’s more than prepared to collaborate with the Roman invaders. He challenges Taoisix to face him in the Troid na dTreabh — a contest in which the winner gets to rule over the loser’s tribe.
CHARLIE AGUS MONARCHA NA SEACLÁIDE written by Roald Dahl and translated by Niamh Ní Argáin, published by Leabhar Breac – Nobody has seen Willy Wonka - or inside his amazing chocolate factory - for years. When he announces plans to invite the winners of five Golden Tickets hidden inside the wrappers of chocolate bars to visit his factory, the whole world is after those tickets!
BERTIE BROCACH written by Alan MacDonald and translated by Marion Ní Shúilleabháin, published by Cló Iar-Chonnacht - Meet Dirty Bertie - a boy with nose-pickingly disgusting habits! He's full to bursting with madcap plans and crazy ideas, and if it's trouble you're after, look no further - Bertie's sure to be up to his neck in it!