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Drama Graduate Nancy Harris receives the Rooney Prize

The Rooney Prize for Irish Literature for 2012 has been awarded to Nancy Harris in recognition of her achievement and outstanding promise as a dramatist. The announcement was made by the Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Dr Patrick Prendergast, at a recent reception in the Provost's House. Previous winners of the Rooney Prize include Bernard Farrell, Neil Jordan, Frank McGuinness, Deirdre Madden and Anne Enright.

The Rooney Prize is awarded annually to a young Irish writer who shows exceptional promise.  It has existed since 1976 through the generosity of Dr Daniel Rooney, President Emeritus of the Pittsburgh Steelers, USA and the current Ambassador to Ireland of the United States of America, and of his wife Mrs Patricia Rooney.  The Rooney Prize is administered in the Oscar Wilde Centre, School of English, Trinity College, Dublin and its committee is chaired by Dr Terence Brown.

Nancy Harris was educated at Trinity College, Dublin (Drama Studies and Classical Civilization, 2002) and the University of Birmingham. Her play No Romance was premiered at the Abbey Theatre Dublin in March 2011. A new play, Our New Girl was premiered at the Bush Theatre London in January 2012, where one of her earlier plays Little Dolls was first performed in 2008. She has written an adaptation of Tolstoy's The Kreutzer Sonata and has also written for radio and television. In 2011 Nancy Harris was the Pearson Playwright-in-Residence at the Bush Theatre, London.

The chair of the Rooney Prize committee, Dr Terence Brown, comments: 'Nancy Harris has an ear keenly attuned to how the fracture lines in relationships are opened in apparently innocent conversations. Critics and audiences have been impressed by her psychological insight and by her sharp wit.'