I was very honoured this month to receive the Burke Medal for Outstanding Contribution to Public Discourse through the Arts from the College Historical Society (the Hist) in Trinity College Dublin.
The Hist is the world’s oldest undergraduate society, and set the model for debating societies throughout the British Isles and United States; in Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard and Yale.
The College Historical Society was founded in 1770 and it was there that Edmund Burke, Theobald Wolfe Tone and Robert Emmet first made steps into political debate. Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett, were all former members and medallists.
The Hist is the venue for so many important speeches and debates in Trinity College and has been addressed by Douglas Hyde, Winston Churchill, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and many world renowned figures.
Previous Burke Medal recipients included writers W.B Yeats, Salman Rushdie, Jung Chang and Hilary Mantel and actor Ralph Fiennes.
Standing in Trinity College surrounded by such a history, I was very proud to receive the Edmund Burke Medal. I really enjoyed meeting and talking to the students of Trinity College and members of the Hist. I will always treasure this very special medal and honour.
There was more good news at the end of last week when I discovered that my new book, Rebel Sisters, is number one in the Original Fiction bestseller list in Ireland. Thank you so much to all my readers.