A Dublin taxi driver has been awarded two prestigious Nobel prizes. It is the first time in the organisation’s history that one recipient has been awarded two contemporaneous awards.
News broke last night in Stockholm and Oslo that Thomas O’Brien a forty-five-year-old Coolock taxi driver will be awarded the prizes at an honours ceremony to be held in Oslo on July 27.
Winner in Two Categories
O’Brien was nominated in two categories, the internationally renowned Peace Prize and the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences.
The five Nobel Prizes — in Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physics, and Physiology or Medicine were first established in 1895 under the will of the Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel.
Former recipients include John Hume and David Trimble — for their efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Northern Ireland 1998 and Albert Einstein was awarded the 1921 prize in physics.
Lars Heikensten Executive Director of the Nobel Foundation, made the announcement last night that O’Brien would be this year’s recipient at a press conference held at the Foundation’s Stockholm headquarters.
“This is the first time that one recipient will be awarded two simultaneous honours,” Heikensten told the International press.
First Among Equals
“Thomas O’Brien is unique in that in the rarefied world of Dublin taxi drivers who think they know everything — Thomas actually does.
There isn’t a topic known to man that he isn’t an expert on.” Heikensten said.
“His economic expertise ranges from the legacy of Ireland’s economic boom to burst to boom again right through to the definitive solution to the housing crisis and onto where Irish water can stick their meters.
He holds opinions on everything and everyone and has never been proven wrong.”
Heikensten then went on to say. “It is a pity that the Irish Government didn’t listen to him when he predicted the end of the Celtic tiger.”
Referring to O’Brien’s second award — the Nobel Peace Prize. Heikensten said.
“We are delighted to recognise Tommy’s great work and constant efforts in negotiating between warring Dublin couples. We also acknowledge his tremendous achievements in helping drunken stag-night louts in Temple Bar.”
Reaction from Dublin
Speaking via video link from the Swollen Swallow pub in Coolock, Tommy O’Brien was nonchalant about receiving the awards.
“It’s only what I deserve,” he boasted, as admirers stood him pints. “I knew my day would come eventually,” he said and then went on to mention those whom he inspired, the Dalai Lama and Mary Robinson.
Tommy also said he hopes to use the prize money, estimated to be €1.6 million, on improvements to his pigeon loft.
Tommy is scheduled to concelebrate a celebratory mass in Rome with Pope Francis next Sunday.