Derry Journal reporter Julieann Campbell is in the running for one of Ireland’s top literary awards.
The Derry author’s critically-acclaimed ‘Setting the Truth Free: The Inside Story of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign’, has been shortlisted for this year’s Christopher Ewart-Biggs Literary prize.
The winner of the award - who will receive £5,000 - will be announced next month at a gala ceremony in Dublin.
The prize was instituted in memory of the British Ambassador to Ireland who was killed by the IRA in 1976. Previous winners include playwright Brian Friel, historians FSL Lyons and Robert Kee and former Beirut hostage Brian Keenan.
Julieann says she’s delighted the book has been shortlisted for the award.
“I’m sure the wider Bloody Sunday families and wounded will be equally as pleased with this news,” she says.
“To win would be a fitting tribute to the hard work and dedication of these extraordinary Derry people who never gave up hope. Even to be shortlisted gives their story the recognition and respect it rightly deserves.”
Sean O’Keeffe, of Liberties Press, the book’s publishers, added: “We are delighted that Julieann Campbell and all of those involved in the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign, have received the recognition they deserve with the shortlisting of ‘Setting The Truth
Free’ for the Christopher Ewart-Biggs Memorial Prize. The book is a warm, moving account of a key event in recent Irish history.”
“Setting The Truth Free” - described as an intelligent and emotive inside account of the Bloody Sunday Justice Campaign - records the personal stories of the campaigners, the relatives and the wounded themselves right up to the Saville Report’s publication in June 2010.
At the book’s launch in January 2012, musician Christy Moore said Julieann had, indeed, ‘set the truth free’ through her portrayal of the families’ ‘selfless, courageous, persistent campaigning’.
Award winning journalist John Pilger has hailed the book as “wonderful... because it documents eloquently events that go to the heart of the struggle for justice and freedom.... The inspiration is universal.”