Derek Landy, author of Skulduggery Pleasant, wins the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Decade competition. With almost 5,000 votes cast 'comic fantasy' novel Skulduggery Pleasant is the nation's favourite in nationwide competition to find the favourite book of the Noughties

The 'Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards' have today announced the winner of their hotly debated Irish Book of the Decade competition. With almost 5,000 online votes cast over the last month, 'comic fantasy' novel Skulduggery Pleasant by Dubliner Derek Landy, has topped the web-poll to decide the nation's favourite Irish Book of the Decade.

Derek Landy has truly taken the literary world by storm since his debut novel was published in 2007 and since then he has published three further books in the series and has just completed his fifth, titled 'Mortal Coil', which is due to be published in 2011.

Derek's books have not only garnered a massive international following amongst teenagers and those that are young at heart, but they have also received international acclaim with Skulduggery Pleasant winning the Red House Children's Book Award, and the second in the series, Playing With Fire, winning the Dublin Airport Authority Irish Children's Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards in 2008.

Skulduggery Pleasant tells the story of Stephanie, a feisty twelve-year-old girl, and a wise-cracking magician turned detective who is, among other things, dead! Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source . . .the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard.

Tom Owens, Chairman of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, commented;
"When Derek Landy's Skulduggery Pleasant first came to prominence, Derek was hailed as a literary sensation, an unknown author who secured a seven figure sum on the back of a debut novel - not an easy crown to carry! However, not only was Skulduggery Pleasant a huge international success but together with the other three published books in the series, it mobilised many young people not only to start reading but to get passionate about reading. Derek's story is one of the great Irish literary stories of the Noughties and he is a worthy winner".

Alastair Giles, Executive Director of the Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards, has said;
"Nearly 60% of the novels on the 50-strong shortlist were literary novels by giants such as John McGahern, Anne Enright, Colm Tobin and William Trevor but by beating such opposition in the web-poll, Derek Landy has shown us how young readers can be energised to care about books and reading. In his short and brilliant career, he has built the Skulduggery series into a juggernaut of popular success on a scale which may yet rival Harry Potter and Twilight. In his wake he is bringing along a whole new generation of young readers and that has to be good news for anyone interested in ensuring the Irish literary heritage will continue to grow and develop into the next decade."

David Bunworth, Managing Director at Bord Gáis Energy, commented;
"On behalf of Bord Gáis Energy I would like to congratulate Derek Landy for his novel being voted the Irish Book of the Decade. This promotion was a celebration of Irish writing and literature and encouraged people to vote for their favourite book by an Irish author. It is an excellent achievement for Derek to have received so many votes and triumph over the 49 other shortlisted books, which were a collection of diverse novels with appeal to a variety of audiences. We wish him the very best success with his future writing endeavours."

This competition was devised by the 'Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards' to celebrate and recognise the great diversity of all Irish authors and to discover the nation's favourite book of the Noughties, a decade in which Irish writers have enjoyed major successes both at home and abroad. The shortlist of 50 Irish books included internationally renowned Irish authors such as Edna O'Brien, William Trevor, Cathy Kelly, Anne Enright, Cecelia Ahern and Colm Tobin as well as national treasures Bill Cullen, Roy Keane, Eamon Dunphy and Ross O'Carroll Kelly.

The Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book of the Decade is part of the 'Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards' which are supported by all Irish book retailers, libraries, publishers and authors alike. This reading promotion is part of Bord Gáis Energy's overall strategy to promote the importance and enjoyment of reading to people of all ages.

This year the 'Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards' will be moving from their traditional spring date to the later date of November 2010. The annual awards will now be made at the end of the year in which the books were published, providing a true reflection of the best Irish books, as chosen by the public, every year.

The new 'Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards', which began in their present multi-category format in 2007, have enjoyed an unprecedented level of support in the book industry with booksellers, libraries, publishers, authors as well as the voting public all engaged in the process of selecting and celebrating the best Irish books each year. Last year's winners included Seamus Heaney, Sebastian Barry, Edna O'Brien, Marian Keyes and Ronan O'Gara.

Book Title Author Publisher Yr Published
It's a Long Way from Penny Apples Bill Cullen Mercier 2001
Artemis Fowl Eoin Colfer Penguin 2001
That they May Face the Rising Sun John McGahern Faber 2002
Keane Roy Keane & Dunphy Penguin 2002
The Story of Lucy Gault William Trevor Penguin 2002
A Secret History of the IRA Ed Moloney Penguin 2002
Star of the Sea Joseph O'Connor Vintage 2002
In the Forest Edna O'Brien Phoenix 2002
Speckled People Hugo Hamilton 4th Estate 2003
Havoc in its Third Year Ronan Bennett Headline Review 2004
PS I Love You Cecelia Ahern Harper 2004
Tatty Christine Dwyer Hickey New Island 2004
The Master Colm Toibin Picador 2004
The New Policeman Kate Thompson Red Fox 2005
A Long Long Way Sebastian Barry Faber 2005
Memoir John McGahern Faber 2005
The Sea John Banville Picador 2005
Winterwood Patrick McCabe Bloomsbury 2006
Paula Spencer Roddy Doyle Vintage 2006
Back from the Brink Paul McGrath Arrow 2006
Boy in the Striped Pyjamas John Boyne David Fickling 2006
Tenderwire Claire Kilroy Faber 2006
Pope's Children David McWilliams Gill & Macmillan 2006
Yours Faithfully Sheila O'Flanagan Headline Review 2006
The Stolen Village Baltimore & the Barbary Pirates Des Ekin O'Brien 2006
Connemara : Listening to the Wind Tim Robinson Penguin Ireland 2006
Should Have got off at Sydney Parade Ross O'Caroll Kelly Penguin Ireland 2006
The Gathering Anne Enright Vintage 2007
Walk the Blue Fields Claire Keegan Faber 2007
Foolish Mortals Jennifer johnston Headline Review 2007
In the Woods Tana French Hodder Headline Ireland 2007
With My Lazy Eye Julia Kelly Quercus 2007
Judging Dev Diarmaid Ferriter Royal Irish Academy 2007
There are Little Kingdoms Kevin Barry Stinging Fly 2007
Skulduggery Pleasant Derek Landy HarperCollins 2007
Netherland Joseph O'Neill 4th Estate 2008
The Truth Commissioner David Park Bloomsbury 2008
The Parish Alice Taylor Brandon 2008
Bog Child Siobhan Dowd David Fickling 2008
Secret Scripture Sebastian Barry Faber 2008
Molly Fox's Birthday Deirdre Madden Faber 2008
Stepping Stones Heaney & O'Driscoll Faber 2008
Lessons in Heartbreak Cathy Kelly Harper 2008
Heart and Soul Maeve Binchy Orion 2008
The Builders Sheridan & Macdonald Penguin Ireland 2008
This Charming Man Marian Keyes Penguin 2008
Forgive and Forget Patricia Scanlan Transworld Ireland 2008
The Lovers John Connolly Hodder 2009
Brooklyn Colm Toibin Penguin 2009
Let the Great World Spin Colum McCann Bloomsbury 2009

Selection criteria for the 'Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards' Irish Book of the Decade Shortlist is available for viewing on

For more information, please contact:

Breda Brown / Joanne Leahy, Unique Media
Tel: +353 1 5225200 / 087 1229776 (JL)

Kelley Cousins, Pembroke Communications
Tel: 01 649 6490 / 086 269 5953

Stiofain MacDhaibhead, Bord Gáis Energy
Tel: +353 1 602 1116 / 087 799 1206