Irish language author Áine Ní Ghlinn has been announced as the sixth Laureate na nÓg, Ireland's Children’s Literature Laureate.
The Tipperary woman 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 is an honour which 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.
Listen: Áine Ní Ghlinn talks to RTÉ Arena
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 books, including poetry collections and an array of books and novels for children and teenagers and has revealed that 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: "Laureate na nÓg was established by the Arts Council to honour the very finest artists in the field of children’s literature, and our sixth Laureate na nÓg is absolutely such an artist.
BREAKING NEWS! We are thrilled to announce that Ireland's sixth Laureate na nÓg is the Irish language children's writer and poet Áine Ní Ghlinn! @artscouncil_ie @KidsBooksIrel @ACNIWriting @poetryireland @DCYAPress pic.twitter.com/ZQ82DjN374— Laureate na nOg (@LaureatenanOg) May 13, 2020
"Áine Ní Ghlinn’s work is both fearless and beautiful, and her commitment to her craft and the written word is undeniable. Writing across every age group and genre, Áine Ní Ghlinn is one of our most talented and beloved artists, and the Council is proud to name her Laureate na nÓg.
"The position takes on an additional significance given the current crisis. Against that backdrop, I have no doubt that Áine will be a Laureate to inspire and lead children and young people through the power of writing."
Speaking as new Laureate na nÓg, Ms 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.
Listen: Áine Ní Ghlinn talks to Morning Ireland
"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."