Writer Louise is Cork Person of the Month

The outstanding contribution of Cork journalist and critically acclaimed writer Louise O’Neill to the Irish literary scene has been honoured by her home county after she received the Cork Person of the Month award for August.

Having completed a bachelor of arts in English Studies at Trinity College and a post-graduate in Fashion Buying at DIT, O’Neill moved to New York in 2010, where she worked for a year as assistant stylist to the style director  of Elle magazine. 

She returned to Ireland in 2011 to concentrate on her writing and began her first novel, ‘Only Ever Yours’, which was published in 2014. 

She subsequently won the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year Award at the 2014 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards; the Ellís Dillon award for a First Children’s Book; and 2015 The Bookseller’s (Young Adult) prize. The book received huge critical acclaim, with the The Guardian describing O’Neill as ‘the best young adult fiction writer alive today’.

Her second book, ‘Asking For It’, published in 2016, was a number one best-seller in Ireland and earned her numerous national and international awards. 

Described by the New York Times as ‘riveting and essential’, the book is a powerful and thought-provoking look at the issue of rape culture and sexual consent in Ireland. 

Such was the public reaction to the book, it has been turned into a critically acclaimed stage play; was used as the basis for the RTÉ documentary ‘Asking For It?: Reality Bites’; and a movie based on the book is currently in pre-production. 

O’Neill has also penned three other books: ‘I call Myself A Feminist, ‘Almost Love’ and ‘The Surface Breaks’, with her work in constant demand and attracting interest for film and TV rights from production companies across the globe. 

The Clonakilty native also writes for a variety of Irish newspapers and magazines, including a regular column in the Irish Examiner, covering a range of topical issues including gender politics, women’s rights, fashion and pop culture, as well as challenging subjects such as anorexia and bulimia. Person of the Month/Year awards organiser and Mallow native Manus O’Callaghan said O’Neill was a worthy winner of the August accolade. 

“Louise is a feminist and very politically engaged. One of Ireland’s bravest and most honest writers, her work is of vital importance and has appeal for audiences of all ages, both male and female,” said Mr O’Callaghan. “She is a wonderful ambassador for Cork.” 

Louise O’Neill’s name will now go forward for possible selection as the Cork Person of the Year for 2018, the winner of which will be announced at a gala awards function in Cork’s Rochestown Park Hotel on January 18, 2019.