I am delighted to say that my latest book, Bloody Sunday: truths, lies and the Saville Inquiry, has been jointly awarded the Christopher Ewart-Biggs memorial prize at a ceremony in Dublin. My co-winner is Julieann Campbell, author of Setting the Truth Free: the inside story of the Bloody Sunday justice campaign.
The literary prize is named after the former British Ambassador to Ireland. Christopher Ewart-Biggs was educated at Wellington and Oxford and served with the Royal Kent Regiment during World War II. He lost his right eye at the Battle of el-Alamein. After Foreign Office postings to numerous countries, including Algeria, he arrived in Dublin in July 1976. Twelve days after his arrival he was murdered by the IRA in a landmine attack on his car. His killers were never found.
The memorial prize was set up by his remarkable widow, Jane, and aims ‘to recognize work that promotes and encourages peace and reconciliation in Ireland.’ Previous winners include Frank McGuinness, Brian Friel, Brian Keenan and Timothy Knatchbull.
It is a great honour to have been awarded a prize named after a remarkable man. The day before his death Ewart-Biggs was interviewed by local journalists and concluded his remarks by saying: ‘I have one prejudice, acquired during the war and reinforced again in Algeria – a very distinct and strong prejudice against violence for political ends.’