Meet the Judges for the KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

May 2022
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There are less than two weeks to go until we unveil the winners of the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2022.

On Tuesday 24th May, RTÉ Broadcaster and book lover Rick O’Shea will announce the winners of our six prestigious awards, recognising the very best in children’s books. And the countdown is on...

This year’s Awards were more competitive than ever, with a record number of submissions for judging. Over a hundred and thirty books by authors and illustrators who are Irish by birth, residency or citizenship were submitted to our Awards team, with our panel of judges deliberating for months to arrive at our final shortlist.

The judging panel brings together experts in children’s books from academia to bookselling, as well as our Young Judge, Clíodhna Jackson, who represents the voice of young readers.

So without further ado, here are our judges for the KPMG Children’s Books Ireland Awards 2022! 

Dr Pádraic Whyte, Head of the judging panel for KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

The Chair of this year’s judging panel, Dr. Pádraic Whyte is associate professor of English and a director of the Children’s Literature MPhil programme at the School of English, Trinity College Dublin. He is co-editor of Children’s Literature Collections: Approaches to Research (Palgrave, 2017) which won the International Research Society for Children’s Literature Edited Book Award (2019) and is co-founder of the National Collection of Children’s Books project. He is currently working on a research project funded by the Irish Research Council and the Department of the Taoiseach that explores the use of literature to foster empathy and understanding between various communities on the island of Ireland.

Gráinne Ní Mhuilneoir, Judge for KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

Céimí Gaeilge de chuid an Choláiste Ollscoile, Baile Átha Cliath is ea Gráinne Ní Mhuilneoir. Chaith sí seal ag obair i bhfoilsitheoireacht na Gaeilge (ar leabhair do dhaoine óga agus do dhaoine fásta). Anois, tá sí mar bhainisteoir ar An Siopa Leabhar, atá lonnaithe ar Shráid Fhearchair agus a phléann go speisialta le leabhair Ghaeilge.

Gráinne Ní Mhuilneoir has worked in Irish-language publishing for children and adults. She is currently the manager of An Siopa Leabhar, the independent Irish-language bookshop based on Harcourt Street in Dublin. 

Dr Sinéad Moriarty, Judge for KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

Dr Sinéad Moriarty received her MA and PhD at the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature in the University of Roehampton. Her work focuses on representations of wilderness, landscape, and environment in children’s literature. She has published on topics including mapping in literature for children, twentieth century Robinsonades, and a monograph Antarctica in British Children's Literature was published by Routledge in 2020. 

Mary Roche, Judge for KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

Mary Roche PhD is author of the award-winning Developing Children’s Critical Thinking through Picturebooks (Routledge 2015) and creator of the Critical Thinking and Book Talk (CT&BT) teaching approach, which is now a feature of the National Primary Language Curriculum. Currently an education consultant and school adviser, she is a co-convenor of Network Educational Action Research Ireland (NEARI) and co-author of several books on action research. You can follow Mary on Twitter @marygtroche.

Clíodhna Jackson, Young Judge for the KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

Our Young Judge, Clíodhna Jackson, is in Transition year. She loves to read, in both Irish and English and likes to write short stories. She also loves sea swimming (whatever the weather) and taking her dog, Suki, for long walks.

Siobhán Callaghan, Judge for KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

Siobhán Callaghan is a final year PhD candidate at Trinity College, Dublin. Her research examines memory and displacement in contemporary historical fiction for children about the Second World War and is funded by the Irish Research Council. 


Sue Miller, Judge for KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

Sue Miller is currently Education Librarian in DCU Library. She is active in children’s literature bibliography and collection development and has a particular research interest in teaching and learning with children's literature in the classroom.

James Mayhew, Judge for KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

Author and illustrator James Mayhew has been creating books for children for over thirty years, including the best-selling Ella Bella and Katie series. He loves experimenting with different illustration techniques and finding just the right approach for each new project. Alongside his work in publishing, James works with a variety of orchestras and musicians, presenting concerts that combine music and art, created live on stage, including the Royal Albert Hall. His collaborators include the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, illustrating classics like The Firebird. He lives in Suffolk, where the skies and light are perfect for artists.

Joe Kelly Judge for KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

Is é Joe Kelly an Leabharlannaí Feidhmiúcháin i Leabharlann Phobail Ghaoth Dobhair. D'oibrigh sé mar Leabharlannaí Scoile JCSP i mBaile Munna ar feadh 13 bliana. Tá suim faoi leith aige i léitheoireacht na Gaeilge agus forbairt dheiseanna scríbhneoireachta i measc na n-óg.

Joe Kelly is Leabharlannaí Feidhmiúcháin in Leabharlann Phobail Ghaoth Dobhair. He worked for 13 years as a JCSP Librarian in Trinity Comprehensive Ballymun. He is particularly interested in the promotion or Irish language reading and the development of writing opportunities for young people.

Siobhán McNamara, judge for the KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

Is leabharlannaí meánscoile agus aistritheoir í Siobhán McNamara. Bhí sí ina heagarthóir Gaeilge le hInis ó 2014 go 2020.

Siobhán McNamara is school librarian in Gonzaga College SJ and a former committee member of the School Library Association in the Republic of Ireland. She also translates from Russian to English and Irish. She was Irish-language editor for Inis from 2014–2020. Siobhán has been a devoted bookworm for as long as she can remember and she loves books because they transport you to faraway times and places and help you understand other people's lives and minds. When she's not reading she can be found cycling, knitting, or admiring flowers and trees. 

Dave O’Callaghan, Judge for KPMG Children's Books Ireland Awards 2022

Dave O’Callaghan is a children’s book consultant with over 30 years’ experience within the book industry.