Laureate na nÓg, Foras na Gaeilge, The Arts Council launch all-island book-gifting scheme

Primary schools will receive almost 30,000 original Irish language books

Laureate na nÓg Áine Ní Ghlinn in partnership with Foras na Gaeilge and The Arts Council today (1st September) launched An Bosca Leabharlainne, a book-gifting initiative that will send a box of Irish language books to 1,125 primary schools across Ireland. The books are original works of fiction in Irish that were hand-picked by Áine. They include picturebooks, poetry and novels. The books are created by contemporary authors and illustrators and published in Ireland, many are award winners and each was chosen for its excellence.

An Bosca Leabharlainne is Áine Ní Ghlinn’s main project as Laureate na nÓg (2020-2023). When she was announced as Irelands’ 6th Children’s Literature Laureate, Áine stated that her focus as Laureate would be to lift the invisibility cloak off Irish language literature for children and to promote reading for pleasure as Gaeilge, not simply for ‘homework’. She is now calling on primary schools across Ireland to apply for An Bosca Leabharlainne. Laureate na nÓg Áine Ní Ghlinn said:

Schools will get 25 books as well as a support pack. Up to 20 schools will get a residency with a writer or illustrator and video resources will also be available. My thanks to Foras na Gaeilge and the Arts Council for their support. We all recognise the importance of reading as Gaeilge for pleasure, and not simply for “obair bhaile”.

An Bosca Leabharlainne is an all-island initiative delivered in partnership with Foras na Gaeilge and the Arts Council/An Chomhairle Ealaíon. It is open to both English and Irish medium primary schools; however, priority will be given to Gaelscoileanna and Gaeltacht schools, as well as primary schools in Gaeltacht Service Towns and in towns that have been designated as Líonraí Gaeilge. Announcing the partnership with Laureate na nÓg and confirming support of €300,000 for An Bosca Leabharlainne, Chief Executive of Foras na Gaeilge, Seán Ó Coinn said:

It's so important that we ensure an active Irish-language readership for the future. To that end, Foras na Gaeilge is delighted to support this wonderful initiative which was conceived by Áine Ní Ghlinn to be her main project as Laureate na nÓg. Foras na Gaeilge is very involved in the promotion of reading via An Gúm, Clár na Leabar Gaeilge and Áis and we're very pleased to be working in collaboration with Laureate na nÓg and the Arts Council to promote reading amongst young people. An Bosca Leabharlainne will encourage children to enjoy the fantastic books that are available and will foster the next generation of Irish-language readers.

Arts Council Director Maureen Kennelly said:

The Arts Council is exceptionally proud of Laureate na nÓg – both the honour that it bestows on a children’s writer or illustrator, but also the ambition and excitement that the Laureate generates. Through An Bosca Leabharlainne, Laureate Áine Ní Ghlinn is creating a path for children to develop a lifelong passion for great books, sparking their imaginations and creativity. Reading for pleasure is one of life’s pure joys, and we are absolutely thrilled to see great Irish language books get into the hands of children up and down the country.

Primary schools who are interested in getting An Bosca Leabharlainne should fill out an application form on the Laureate na nÓg website The deadline for applications is Thursday 14 October 2021. Laureate na nÓg is an initiative of the Arts Council. It is managed and delivered on Council’s behalf by Children’s Books Ireland, and also supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, and the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth. By honouring an artist of exceptional talent and commitment, Laureate na nÓg champions and celebrates literature for children and young people, inspiring generations of writers, illustrators and readers.

More information:

Áine Ní Ghlinn is available for interview

Contact: Aingeala Flannery (Laureate na nÓg Project Manager) 087 638 2090 /