President Michael D Higgins will present the Laureate na nÓg medal to Irish language author Áine Ní Ghlinn at a ceremony in Áras an Uachtarán. Áine Ní Ghlinn was announced as Laureate na nÓg (Ireland’s Children’s Literature Laureate), in May. She is the sixth Laureate and the first author writing exclusively in Irish to be awarded the honour. She will hold the title until 2023.
In previous years, the Laureate na nÓg has been announced by the President in a special ceremony in the Arts Council’s offices. This engagement has underlined the critical importance of children’s literature in the cultural life of our nation. For obvious reasons, such a ceremony was not possible this May, but today’s meeting maintains the important relationship between the President and Laureate na nÓg.
Laureate na nÓg is an Arts Council initiative. By honouring an artist of exceptional talent and commitment, it champions and celebrates literature for children and young people, inspiring generations of writers, illustrators and readers. The Laureate project is administered by Children’s Books Ireland with the support of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Poetry Ireland.
Áine Ní Ghlinn is a children’s writer and poet. She has written over thirty books, including poetry collections and an array of books and novels for children and teenagers. Her ambition as Laureate is to lift the cloak of invisibility from Irish language authors and books, and to encourage children and young people to read for pleasure as Gaeilge.
Prof. Kevin Rafter, Chair of the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon, said:
“The Arts Council is very grateful to President Higgins for his longstanding commitment to the arts and, in particular, his ongoing support for the Laureate na nOg award. Áine Ní Ghlinn is a writer of novels and poetry loved by children and young people. As our new Laureate, she will being tremendous creativity and leadership to the position.”
Laureate na nÓg, Áine Ní Ghlinn said:
“It’s a wonderful honour to have been appointed Laureate na nÓg and I’m very grateful to the Arts Council and to Children’s Books Ireland for all their support. Covid-19 has added a challenging dimension to the role and while I have enjoyed the challenge and the learning curve of moving online, I look forward to fulfilling the Laureate aims in real life when the country reopens.”
Áine is originally from County Tipperary. She worked for a number of years in RTÉ and Raidió na Gaeltachta, and now divides her time between writing, delivering creative writing workshops in schools around the country and part-time lecturing in Dublin City University. Her books have won the Gradam Reics Carló Book of the Year Award three times, most recently in 2019 for her novel Boscadán. In 2015, her YA novel Daideo won the Honour Award for Fiction at the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Awards, as well as the Literacy Association of Ireland Book of the Year.
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