What you watch on TV says a LOT about your personality
What you watch on TV says a LOT about your personality

Amanda Cassidy

The most beautiful and inspiring 5k runs around Dublin
The most beautiful and inspiring 5k runs around Dublin

Megan Burns

Penn Badgley and Cardi B just won this week’s Most Unlikely Friendship Award
Penn Badgley and Cardi B just won this week’s Most Unlikely Friendship Award

Lauren Heskin

50 bricks and mortar Irish shops to support this Christmas
50 bricks and mortar Irish shops to support this Christmas

Eoin Higgins

Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning
Jamie Lee Curtis shows every parent how to handle their child transitioning

Jennifer McShane

Søstrene Grene Christmas 2021 collection drops tomorrow and it’s all our cosy winter dreams come true
Søstrene Grene Christmas 2021 collection drops tomorrow and it’s all our cosy winter dreams come...

Megan Burns

Convenient, reusable cleansing cloths that will make you ditch make-up wipes for good
Convenient, reusable cleansing cloths that will make you ditch make-up wipes for good

Holly O'Neill

4 easy ways to support your brain function
4 easy ways to support your brain function

IMAGE

Sea swimming essentials every first-timer should have on their list
Sea swimming essentials every first-timer should have on their list

Sarah Finnan

These 4 key products will save your dry skin this winter
These 4 key products will save your dry skin this winter

Jennifer McShane

Image / Agenda
Sponsored

Vicky Phelan’s ‘Overcoming’ wins the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019

Sponsored By

by IMAGE
05th Feb 2020
Sponsored By
Vicky Phelan’s ‘Overcoming’ wins the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019

You voted in your thousands, and finally we can reveal that Vicky Phelan’s Overcoming is the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019.


Vicky Phelan has won the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019 for her autobiography Overcoming.

Vicky’s story was brought to life by writer Naomi Linehan after the CervicalCheck campaigner was catapulted into the limelight in 2018 when she successfully sued the US-based lab that botched her smear test results.

The mum-of-two, from Co Limerick, had been told her smear test results, which were tested in Texas on behalf of CervicalCheck, were negative in 2011. She was later diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Speaking of the win, Vicky said, “I’m truly honoured that my book Overcoming has been voted An Post Book of the Year. I could not have done this without my wonderful ghostwriter, Naomi Linehan, who brought life to my story on the page in a way that I did not think was possible.

“To my publisher, Hachette, thank you for taking a chance on me and to all the booksellers, thank you for championing my book. Finally, a huge thank you to the public, for whom I wrote this book, who supported and voted for me.”

Scroll down for video

Vicky Phelan chats to Sophie White as part of the InstaStory Club with An Post, sponsor of the Irish Book Awards. Photo: Jake Browne

Overcoming charts Vicky’s journey from a plucky teenager in Paris, to a wife and mum embroiled in one of the biggest medical and political scandals of our times.

Since she successfully sued the Texas lab and was awarded €2.5m from the High Court in 2018, Vicky has become an advocate for women’s healthcare in Ireland, and has campaigned for access to the Pembro drug, as well as better communication within CervicalCheck and the HSE.

Along with women and their families who were among the 220 women affected by the smear test scandal, Vicky set up the 221+ support group.

Speaking to image.ie last October as part of the InstaStory Club with An Post, sponsor of the Irish Book Awards, Vicky admitted that she wasn’t sure she’d finish writing Overcoming after she was initially told she only had six months to live following her cancer diagnosis.

“I didn’t know if I’d see the end of the book. I wrote it for two reasons: one was for my kids, and the other was for people in Ireland to understand my strength comes from layers and layers of hardship,” she said.

In Overcoming, Vicky also describes how, aged just 19, she broke 70% of the bones on the left side of her body after a car accident in Paris. Her then boyfriend and two of her friends were killed.

Her French medical team had advised her not to sit up for two weeks so as not to damage her pelvis. When she returned to Ireland for further treatment, Vicky says she was advised to begin rehab straight away.

“It was terrible to turn them [physiotherapists] away, but I’d been told not to move for two weeks [by the doctors in France]. It’s not that I was being disrespectful, I was challenging them,” she told image.ie.

“It was an eye opener, to see another health system and the way it can work. I do think that definitely helped with what happened with the smear scandal.

“I’m human like everybody else, but I think that has actually stood to me, the fact that I have had so much other stuff happen has built me up to what happened last year, to the point where I can take so much on.”

Vicky Phelan’s autobiography ‘Overcoming’ has won the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019. Photo: Supplied

Overcoming went on to win the RTÉ Radio 1 Listeners’ Choice Award at the Irish Book Awards, sponsored by An Post, last November. The public have been voting in their thousands since then for the overall An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019, crowning Vicky’s debut the winner.

And Vicky is in good company, with previous winners of An Post Irish Book of the Year including Emilie Pine’s Notes To Self, Louise O’Neill’s Asking For It, and Solace by Belinda McKeon.

Chairperson of the An Post Irish Book Awards Maria Dickenson congratulated Vicky, saying, “The entire book trade rose to its feet for a lengthy and moving standing ovation when Overcoming won the RTE Listener’s Choice award at the An Post Irish Book Awards.

“Vicky is an absolute inspiration and a powerful advocate for Irish women, and along with Naomi Linehan she has written a book that perfectly expresses her strength, her warmth and her legacy. A thoroughly deserving Book of the Year.”

David McRedmond, CEO of An Post, said, “We are delighted that Vicky Phelan is the recipient of the An Post Book of the Year 2019 award for her autobiography Overcoming.

“Readers have a unique relationship with writers but especially so with Vicky because of her personal courage in telling her story. As this award is a public vote, this  truly demonstrates just how much Vicky’s story resonated with readers across the country.”

For more on the An Post Irish Book Awards, click here.

For more on the InstaStory Cub with An Post, sponsor of the Irish Book Awards, click here

The InstaStory Cub with An Post, sponsor of the Irish Book Awards is shortlisted for a Digital Media Award. For more information on IMAGE’s nomination, click here

Also Read

Vicky Phelan’s ‘Overcoming’ wins the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019
BREAKING STORIES
‘Full capacity’: Dogs Trust have ‘8 requests a day’ to take more dogs

Kennel manager John told Irish news outlets “there’s already been more surrenders this year than in all of 2020”.  ...

By Jennifer McShane

Vicky Phelan’s ‘Overcoming’ wins the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019
CULTURE
The Vow: A gripping must-watch documentary to binge this weekend

The Vow‘s nine parts tell the story of Nxivm, a community formed under the guise of self-help when really it...

By Jennifer McShane

Vicky Phelan’s ‘Overcoming’ wins the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019
CULTURE
5 seriously creepy books to get you ready for Halloween

The rain, the wind, the chill in the air… Halloween is around the corner. Hate horror films but interested in...

By Jennifer McShane

Vicky Phelan’s ‘Overcoming’ wins the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019
FOOD & DRINK
A Jamie Oliver favourite: The angry bean salad

Warm arrabbiata dressing, chilled baby mozzarella, fresh mint …   Angry Bean Salad Serves 4 | 20 minutes Ingredients 400g ripe...

By Meg Walker

Vicky Phelan’s ‘Overcoming’ wins the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019
PROPERTY
This Rathmines Home of the Year finalist is on the market for €1.425 million

The Victorian redbrick was lovingly restored after lying empty since the 1980s, but has been given a new extension alongside its period touches.

By Megan Burns

Vicky Phelan’s ‘Overcoming’ wins the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019
CULTURE
#WrittenByMen: The TikTok hashtag that’s so ridiculous you can’t help but laugh

Men, they’re at it again. People have continually turned their noses up at TikTok, and while it definitely has its...

By Sarah Finnan

Vicky Phelan’s ‘Overcoming’ wins the An Post Irish Book of the Year 2019
CULTURE
Phoebe Waller-Bridge becomes only the second-ever female Bond writer (and the first was Irish)

Daniel Craig may be the seventh actor to play 007, but Phoebe Waller-Bridge is only the second-ever woman with a...

By Sarah Finnan