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23 February 2018

Mayor to share the delight of books with local Irish medium schools

Hundreds of schoolchildren from across the City of L/Derry and district will descend on the Guildhall next month dressed as their favourite literary character for a special interactive Irish language story telling event to celebrate Irish Language Week.

Lúcháir Leabhar – the Delight of Books, will be hosted on Friday March 2, by Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, a keen Irish language enthusiast and ambassador for Irish medium education.

The event caters for children at Irish medium nursery and primary schools in the Derry and Strabane area and will include an interactive Irish language storytelling event with renowned children’s author and special guest Myra Zepf, and a puppet show with the Belfast-based puppet theatre company Na Bopóga.

Speaking at this week’s launch, Mayor McHugh, who will speak to schools at the event about his own favourite book, said he was looking forward to celebrating the joy of books, reading and storytelling in the Irish language.

“I am delighted to host Lúcháir Leabhar which I hope will be a joyous celebration of literature and the Irish language for our young people who are educated in the medium of Irish,” he said.
“It is a particularly apt event for 2018 which has been designated as Bliain na Gaeilge the Year of the Irish language, marking 125 years of the language’s revival on the island of Ireland.

“I am particularly looking forward to the story telling sessions with Myra Zepf, the first ever Children’s Writing Fellow for the North.” Irish Language Officer at Derry City and Strabane District Council, Pól Ó Frighil, expressed his hope that the event, which comes the day after World Book Day, would encourage more young people to read in Irish and to enjoy the language outside the classroom setting.

“It should be a colourful event with many of the children attending dressed as their favourite character from their favourite book,” he said. “We hope it will encourage young people to discover the joy of literature and storytelling at an early age by delivering it through the relaxed mediums of puppetry and storytelling.

“We are delighted to welcome Children’s Writing Fellow Myra Zepf to the event to deliver a number of storytelling sessions to different age groups.

“Myra is based at the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry at Queen’s University in Belfast and her role is to provide a voice for children’s literature and promote an interest in reading and writing among children of all ages.”

Irish medium nursery schools and primary schools from across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area will be invited to the event and each participating school will receive a special gift hamper of Irish language books and learning resources for use within their library as a memento of this special day.

Image caption: LUCHAIR LEABHAR - Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Maolíosa McHugh, pictured at the Guildhall on Friday last with Cal (9) and Eve (5) Tabb at the launch of his initiative,

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