Last week was a proud one for IFUT when one of our members, Áine Ní Ghlinn was announced as the sixth Laureate na nÓg, Ireland’s children’s literature laureate (see below for details).
Áine is a member of IFUT in DCU and she has graciously accepted our invitation to write the following piece for our IFUT Website:
"Táim thar a bheith sásta a bheith ceaptha mar Laureate na nÓg don tréimhse 2020 - 2022. Is onóir dochreidte í a bheith ar an gcéad Laureate na nÓg a scríobhann as Gaeilge amháin. Mar Laureate beidh mé ag iarraidh próifíl na litríochta do pháistí a ardú. Mar chuid lárnach de mo théarma Laureate, áfach, ba mhaith liom próifíl na litríochta Gaeilge do dhaoine óga a ardú. Ba mhaith liom daoine a chur ag comhrá faoi leabhair Ghaeilge do pháistí agus an clóca dofheictheachta a bhaineann le leabhair Ghaeilge do pháistí a ardú. Táim ag iarraidh go mbeidh an teacht céanna ag leanaí, tuismitheoirí, ag Mamó is Daideo, ag múinteoirí uile na tíre ar litríocht ardchaighdeáin as Gaeilge is atá acu cheana féin ar leabhair Bhéarla do pháistí.”
Irish language author Áine Ní Ghlinn has been announced as the sixth Laureate na nÓg, Ireland’s children’s literature laureate. Áine is the first author who writes exclusively in Irish to be awarded the honour, and will hold the title from now until 2022.
Laureate na nÓg was established in 2010 to engage young people with high quality literature and to underline the importance of children’s literature in our cultural and imaginative lives. It is an initiative of the Arts Council, 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 has written over thirty children’s 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.
Speaking as new Laureate na nÓg, Áine Ní Ghlinn said: "I am humbled and excited at being appointed Laureate na nÓg. It is the high point of my writing career and an incredible honour to be the first Irish language writer awarded the honour. As a central part of my laureate term, I want to raise the profile of children’s literature as Gaeilge and to bring leabhair Ghaeilge do pháistí into the mainstream conversation. I want children, parents, grandparents, teachers to have the same access to high quality children’s literature as Gaeilge as they already have in English. Children deserve the opportunity to engage with Irish language literature for pleasure and not just as schoolwork.”
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.
Áine is a former chair of the Children’s Books Ireland Book of the Year Awards and is a strong advocate for Irish writers and illustrators. She has been engaged for many years in the wider children’s literature sector as a visible, vocal and measured champion of books that are written for children in the Irish language. Áine was selected as one of Children’s Books Ireland’s 20 ‘Bold Girls’ in 2018, a project celebrating strong girls and women in children’s literature and highlighting Irish women artists whose work is remarkable.