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Booker Prize win for Limerick-born author, Paul Lynch

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Limerick-born author, Paul Lynch has been announced as the winner of the coveted 2023 Booker Prize. Paul Lynch pictured shortlist announcement at the newly reopened National Portrait Gallery, London

Limerick-born author, Paul Lynch has been announced as the winner of the coveted 2023 Booker Prize for his novel, ‘Prophet Song’

Booker Prize win for Limerick-born author, Paul Lynch
Irish writer Paul Lynch poses on June 29, 2015 in Paris. AFP PHOTO / JOEL SAGET

Born in Limerick and raised in Donegal, Lynch becomes the sixth Irish author to win the most influential English-language fiction prize since it began in 1969.

The Booker Prize win comes just over a year after he was diagnosed with cancer from which he has since been given the all-clear after treatment.

The Jury as well as issuing the award spoke highlight of ‘Prophet Song’ on its nomination, saying, ” “Paul Lynch’s harrowing and dystopian Prophet Song vividly renders a mother’s determination to protect her family as Ireland’s liberal democracy slides inexorably and terrifyingly into totalitarianism. Readers will find it timely and unforgettable. It’s a remarkable accomplishment for a novelist to capture the social and political anxieties of our moment so compellingly.”


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Limerick City and County Council has offered its congratulations to the Irish author on winning the award for his fifth novel.

Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Gerald Mitchell wanted “to  extend heartfelt congratulations” to Lynch, saying, “The win coming just over a year post-cancer diagnosis, adds a poignant layer to this achievement. Although raised in Donegal, Paul’s roots are firmly in Limerick. His family are from Limerick and his parents are now living here once again. I hope they enjoy celebrating this accomplishment and I wish Paul continued literary success.”

Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council, Dr Pat Daly added, “Congratulations to Paul on a well-deserved honour. The exploration of political extremism and the challenges faced by refugees in ‘Prophet Song’ are very timely. It is a triumph of storytelling. Long may his words continue to inspire and provoke change.”

The novel takes place on a dark, wet evening in Dublin, when scientist and mother-of-four Eilish Stack answers her front door to find the GNSB on her step. Two officers from Ireland’s newly formed secret police are here to interrogate her husband, a trade unionist.

Ireland is falling apart. The country is in the grip of a government turning towards tyranny and when her husband disappears, Eilish finds herself caught within the nightmare logic of a society that is quickly unravelling. How far will she go to save her family? And what – or who – is she willing to leave behind?

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Richard is a presenter, producer, songwriter and actor. He was named the Limerick Person of the Year (2011) and won an online award at the Metro Éireann Media and Multicultural Awards (2011) for promoting multi-culturalism online. Richard says that the ilovelimerick.com concept is very much a community driven project that aims to document life in Limerick. So, that in 20 years time people can look back and remember the events that were making the headlines.