O'Brien Bookseller of the Year Award

The O'Brien Bookseller of the Year Award is presented annually in recognition of outstanding achievement or an invaluable contribution to the book trade by an individual bookseller. obrien.ie - BooksellerAward - BOTY-award


The Elements, a bronze perpetual trophy sculpted by Rowan Gillespie, one of Ireland's leading sculptors. The winner also receives a framed commemorative certificate.


Any Bookseller who:

  • operates on the island of Ireland
  • works in, manages or owns a bookselling business
  • has a minimum of three years' experience as a bookseller in Ireland (not necessarily with the same company)


obrien.ie - BooksellerAward - BobJohnston-BOTY2016

Bob Johnston, The Gutter Bookshop, Dublin: proud winner of the O'Brien Bookseller of the Year Award 2016.

The judges' citation reads: 'Hugely experienced in all aspects of the bookselling world, the sheer amount of work he does on so many fronts – shop floor, community, media, online and events – is hugely impressive. His ambition, courage, generosity and boundless enthusiasm make him a clear winner with authors, publishers and readers alike.'

The full rollcall of winners is:

  • 1995 Fred Hanna, Fred Hanna Booksellers
  • 1996 Sally Mimnagh, Eason & Son, O'Connell St.
  • 1997 Helen Clear and Gemma Barry, Dubray Books
  • 1998 Frank and David O'Mahony, O'Mahony's Booksellers
  • 1999 Fergal and Irene Stanley, Argosy Libraries
  • 2000 John McNamee, Laois Educational Supplies
  • 2001 Tom Owens, Eason & Son Ltd
  • 2002 Joe Collins, Hodges Figgis
  • 2003 Robert Redmond, The Open Book Company
  • 2004 Dervilla Evans, The Ennis Bookshop
  • 2005 Liz Meldon, Dundrum Books
  • 2006 Siobhán Tierney, Hughes & Hughes Booksellers
  • 2007 Eoin McHugh, Eason Wholesale
  • 2008 Mary Healy, Argosy Books
  • 2009 David O'Callaghan, Eason & Son Ltd
  • 2010 John Cotter, The Book Centre, Waterford
  • 2011 Gina O'Donnell, Hodges Figgis
  • 2012 Lynn Crampton, Dubray Grafton Street
  • 2013 Ronan Richmond, Argosy Books
  • 2014 John Treacy, International Education Services
  • 2015 Susan Walsh, Dubray Books
  • 2016 Bob Johnston, The Gutter Bookshop


The 2017 award was judged by the following jury:

Brenda Boyne, The O'Brien Press
Niamh Hatton, Mercier Press
Tony Purdue, HarperCollinsPublishers
Ivan O'Brien, The O'Brien Press


The winner will be announced and the award presented at the Booksellers Association Dinner Dance on Friday 3 March.