Irishman Peter Lynch has been awarded this year’s Booker Prize for his novel, Prophet Song, which depicts a dystopian world, with Ireland slowly becoming a totalitarian state.

The chair of the Booker judging panel, Esi Edugyan, called the novel a ‘triumph of emotional storytelling, bracing and brave.’

Another Irishman, Paul Murray, was also shortlisted for the prize. The other nominees were two Americans, Paul Harding and Jonathan Escoffery; an English-Kenyan, Chetna Maroo; and Sarah Bernstein, a Canadian.

The Booker Prize is awarded annually for what the judging panel considers to be the best book  written in English and published in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland in that particular year. The first prize was awarded in 1969. Currently the winner receives a cash prize of £50 000.

Three South Africans – Nadine Gordimer, JM Coetzee, and Damon Galgut – have won the prize in previous years, with Coetzee winning it twice.