Liveline Listener's Top Irish Book of 2014 is...

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Tom GilmartinIf you had been listening to Joe Duffy's Liveline programme on RTÉ Radio One today you would have heard Dublin City librarians Alison Lyons and Damien O'Shaughnessy contribute to a wonderful discussion on the top books of 2014. Ex-staff member Hugh Comerford also got a mention by Joe, well done all! 

The programme today of course was given over to a discussion of the candidate books and the selection of the Liveline listener's top Irish Book of 2014. The winner was finally announced at just before 3pm after the listeners' votes were in and counted and, with no further ado, we can reveal that the winner was... 'Tom Gilmartin' by Frank Connolly! Congratulations to Frank on a wonderful win and on producing a very compelling read.

In order of the Listeners' Votes (with links to library catalogue records):

1. Frank Connolly / Tom Gilmartin.

2. Rory O’Neill – Woman In The Making

3. Colin Barrett / Young Skins

4. Michael Harding / Hanging with the Elephant

5. Simon Fitzmaurice / It’s Not Yet Dark

6. Roy Keane / The Second Half

7. Liz Nugent / Unravelling Oliver

8. Marian Keyes / The Woman Who Stole My Life

9. Brian O’Driscoll / The Test

10. Paul Williams / Murder Inc

From the Description of the Winning Book

A successful property developer in England, the Sligo-born Tom Gilmartin had ambitious plans for major retail developments in Dublin in the late 1980s. Little did he know that in order to do business in the city, senior politicians and public officials would want a slice of the action . in large amounts of cash. Gilmartin blew the whistle on corruption at the heart of government and the city's planning system, and the fallout from his claims ultimately led to the resignation of the Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, in 2008. The developer, who died in November 2013, was thoroughly vindicated in the final report of the Mahon Tribunal in March 2012. This is a compelling narrative of official wrong-doing and abuse of office. It exposes the roots of the political and financial disaster that has wreaked havoc in the lives of so many Irish people.

Praise for the author

'Frank Connolly is the best investigative journalist we've ever had.' Eamon Dunphy

'Tom Gilmartin did all Irish people an immense service by telling the truth about the corruption and cynicism he encountered at the very top of the political system. Frank Connolly brought Gilmartin's story to light, and does another great service by retelling that story with such vividness, clarity and power. As human and engaging as a novel, this is a truth stranger, and more urgent, than fiction.' Fintan O'Toole

'Frank Connolly lays bare, in cold, forensic detail, how hard it has been to arrive at certain truths, and the human price paid for those truths.' Theo Dorgan

'Frank Connolly's biography of the businessman who died last year is ultimately a pretty devastating account of how being bright, hardworking and ambitious was absolutely no use to Tom Gilmartin in his native country... It's a story worth retelling, but just as compelling is the deeper story, that emerges throughout the biography, of how Ireland failed Tom Gilmartin, not once, not even twice, but throughout his lifetime.' Donal O'Donovan Irish Independent Review 05 April 2014

'The corruption endemic in parts of Irish public life is clearly illustrated by the story of what happened to the developer and whistleblower Tom Gilmartin.' Frank McDonald Irish Times Weekend Review 05 April 2014 '

If you want to keep your blood pressure down on holiday, then Frank Connolly's book probably isn't for you, but it deserves to be read. It's a maddening and deeply vital tale of how figures in Ireland's political establishment sought to enrich themselves at the expense of the people they had sworn to serve.' - Sunday Business Post

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