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President Michael D. Higgins presents Colm Tóibín with Laureate medal ahead of his inaugural lecture as the Laureate for Irish Fiction 2022-2024 | The Arts Council

Today at Áras an Uachtaráin, President Michael D. Higgins presented novelist, short story writer and poet Colm Tóibín with the Laureate medal, in recognition of his appointment as Ireland’s third Laureate for Irish Fiction.

Colm Tóibín’s three-year term began in January of this year, and he took over the laureateship from Sebastian Barry, who followed inaugural Laureate Anne Enright.

The Laureate for Irish Fiction is an initiative of the Arts Council. The role seeks to acknowledge the contribution of fiction writers to Irish artistic and cultural life by honouring an established Irish writer of fiction, encouraging a new generation of writers, promoting Irish literature nationally and internationally and encouraging the public to engage with high quality Irish fiction.

Since his appointment, he has curated and led a busy public programme, which includes The Art of Reading, a monthly book club for library book clubs across the country and offered as an online event for readers everywhere on the last Thursday of every month. The book club will continue in 2023 and 2024.

On Sunday, 6 November, at the Town Hall Theatre in Galway, Colm Tóibín will deliver his inaugural Laureate lecture, entitled Ships in Full Sail: A Life in Music. The Lecture will be delivered by Colm Tóibín with musical performances by Iarla Ó Lionáírd, Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill, and the ConTempo Quartet (Galway Music Residency). This is the first of three lectures that the Laureate will give over his term.

More details about these and other Laureate events and activities can be found on the Arts Council’s website,

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