Fontstown author and racing journalist Lissa Oliver, has been honoured with the Libyan Person of the Year award 2013, for her services to the Libyan Racing Industry.
Although Lissa has yet to go to Libya she was named the award recipient last October.
“I helped the Libyan horse racing authorities by putting them in contact with the right people over here,” explained Lissa. “Racing had been suppressed by Colonel Gaddafi but it started to open back up after his death.”
Lissa also contributed towards the establishment of a Stud Book but she says she was ‘just doing her job’.
“I was both shocked and honoured because I was just doing my job,” she said. “So you don’t expect recognition. I am not Libyan and I have never been there.”
Lissa, who is originally from south London, has lived in Fontstown outside Kilcullen since 1988. She is married to Tony and they have a grown up daughter called Sammy. She writes for the Irish Field and the European Blood Stock magazine among others.
“I have always enjoyed writing and at 14 I became interested in horse racing. I have a retired race horse called ‘Leitmotif’ but we call him Leo.”
Lissa was invited to attend the Awards ceremony in Tripoli in October, but was unable to attend. Earlier this month however a racing industry delegation from Equisoft, a racing software company based in Newbridge, visited Libya and was given a trophy to bring home to Ireland for Lissa
She visited the offices of Equisoft Ltd in Newbridge on Wednesday, 26 February, where Robbie Byrne, Equisoft MD, presented her with the award. “I have been invited back out for the Readers Cup in April-it will be the first time it has been held in Libya since 1972 so I am really looking forward to it.”