Joint Winners Of Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize

campbellThe twenty-second Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary Prize, worth £5000, has been awarded jointly to:

Julieann Campbell for her book Setting the Truth Free: the inside story of the Bloody Sunday justice campaign
(Liberties Press, 2012) and Douglas Murray for his book, Bloody Sunday: truth, lies and the Saville Inquiry (Biteback Publishing, 2012).

murrayA Special Award also of £2,500, was given to the journalist and writer Peter Taylor for his work covering Northern Ireland over many years.

The Prize was presented by Olivia O’Leary at a ceremony at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Iveagh House.

Speaking for the judges, Professor Roy Foster said, ‘This year we short-listed a number of books dealing with re-examining the past: Marilynn Richtarik’s and David Fitzpatrick’s masterly biographies of a playwright (Stewart Parker) and a churchman (Frederick MacNeice); and two highly original panoramic histories by Diarmaid Ferriter and Alvin Jackson, putting Ireland’s recent history in a new perspective.

“But in the end we decided that the Prize must be jointly awarded to two books on the terrible events of Bloody Sunday in Derry and their aftermath. Julieann Campbell’s account of the campaign waged by the families of the victims presents a fascinating account of a grass-roots movement fuelled by few resources other than an absolute determination to see justice done; Douglas Murray’s account analyses the proceedings of the Saville Inquiry accessibly, thoughtfully and with forensic care. Both books in different ways demonstrate the necessity to investigate and face up to the unwelcome facts behind received versions of the truth, which is as essential in Northern Ireland as it as ever been.

“The same is true of Peter Taylor’s journalism, books and television programmes over many years, which we felt deserved a special award. The work of all three winners is squarely in the tradition of the Prize, which emerged from Jane Ewart-Biggs’s own determination to make something constructive out of the memory of tragedy.”

The six shortlisted entries were:
Julieann Campbell, Setting the Truth Free: the inside story of the Bloody Sunday justice campaign (Liberties Press)
Diarmaid Ferriter, Ambiguous Republic: Ireland in the 1970s (Profile Press)
David Fitzpatrick, ‘Solitary and Wild’: Frederick MacNeice and the Salvation of Ireland (Lilliput Press)
Alvin Jackson, The Two Unions: Ireland, Scotland and the survival of the United Kingdom, 1707-2007 (Oxford University Press)
Douglas Murray, Bloody Sunday: truth, lies and the Saville Inquiry (Biteback Publishing)
Marilynn Richtarik, Stewart Parker: a life (Oxford University Press)