Sally Hayden wins An Post Irish Book of the Year award for 'My Fourth Time, We Drowned'

Sally Hayden wins An Post Irish Book of the Year award for 'My Fourth Time, We Drowned'

My Fourth Time, We Drowned by Sally Hayden has been announced as the An Post Irish Book Awards Book of the Year for 2022.

The winning book was announced last night at an event which was televised with a one-hour special on RTÉ One.

Hayden's book competed against six others for the accolade, all of which were category winners at the 2022 awards.

The title is a staggering account of the migrant crisis across North Africa, including dozens of first-hand narratives from people currently living in Libyan detention centres, revealing that they were all incarcerated as a direct result of European policy.

Currently the Africa Correspondent for the Irish Times, Sally Hayden is an award-winning journalist and photographer who is currently focused on migration, conflict and humanitarian crisis, all of which are reflected in this winning book.

Hayden has also worked with VICE News, CNN International, BBC and the Guardian. She has also had stories and photojournalism republished on six continents by outlets including National Geographic, Forbes and the Economist.

Maria Dickenson, Chair of the Judging Panel said about the book:

My Fourth Time, We Drowned is a moving, compelling and vitally important book. Sally Hayden is an outstanding Irish journalist who has taken her place on the global stage with her incisive journalism, and she has written a book that is as ground-breaking as it is humane.

"In it, she gives a powerful voice to vulnerable refugees, and holds the highest offices accountable for their plight. The judging panel was unanimous in its praise for My Fourth Time, We Drowned, and is very proud to recognise it as the An Post Irish Book of the Year”.

David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, said:

"Sally Hayden’s book can take its place as one of the great non-fiction books for many years. She never strays from her journalistic discipline but underpins the story of migration with profound empathy"

The overall winner was decided by a distinguished panel of judges, including a bookstore chain chief executive, two literary editors, a bestselling novelist and the CEO of Children’s Books Ireland.

Books by Charlie Bird, Kellie Harrington, Louise Kennedy, Marian Keyes and Ellen Ryan were also nominated for the award.

Previous winners of the Irish Book of the Year award include the late Vicky Phelan, Louise O'Neill, Donal Ryan and Belinda McKeon.