Barn­town’s book­worms spell­bound

Wexford People - - NEWS - By DAVID TUCKER

BARN­TOWN’S book­worms were given a rare treat re­cently when real live au­thor Eoin Colfer opened the na­tional school’s new li­brary, shar­ing some of his cre­ative magic with the spell­bound young­sters.

A very well-stocked and laid out li­brary, the new fa­cil­ity is the re­sult of a holis­tic vi­sion for chil­dren that is shared by board, staff and par­ents at Barn­town Na­tional School.

In the works for two years, the new li­brary is in use now on a daily ba­sis by staff and chil­dren alike.

Prin­ci­pal Louisa O’Brien spoke at the open­ing about how in the past school chil­dren never got to meet an au­thor.

‘They al­ways lived far away and at a dis­tance, it’s great to be able to wel­come one so ac­com­plished among us.. and one of our own.’

In a se­ries of pre­sen­ta­tions, chil­dren dis­cussed their favourite writ­ers and books and spoke of the en­joy­ment they got from books by au­thors such as Eoin, J.K. Rowl­ing and Roald Dahl.

Eoin com­mended the school on this very wor­thy ini­tia­tive and spoke of his own child­hood when there was only one li­brary in Hill Street and how, in open­ing the first page of a book about Fionn Mac Cumhail at that li­brary, he was taken to another level ‘where three hours reading seemed like only three min­utes, a light had been switched in me and my life was changed to­tally.’

Eoin re­galed the chil­dren with tales from his child­hood where he had been nom­i­nated un­will­ingly as the pi­rate ‘Lit­tle Frog’ and how such ad­ven­tures of child­hood be­came the raw ma­te­ri­als of cre­ative writ­ing.

Thank­ing Eoin for his great pre­sen­ta­tion to the chil­dren, school chair­man Fr John Car­roll quoted the Amer­i­can writer Jamie Ford who said ‘The li­brary is like an ice cream store where ev­ery­thing is free.’

He said he hoped that this would be the ex­pe­ri­ence of each child at the school in the year ahead where the new fa­cil­ity would be both en­joyed and well used and thanked Eoin for hours of en­joy­ment he had af­forded to so many and in a play on a quote from Artemis Fowl, he went on to say ‘We trust you, you are a ge­nius!’ Grat­i­tude was ex­pressed to Mark Brazz­ill who or­gan­ised for Eoin to at­tend and who set in train events to en­sure such a worth­while ex­pe­ri­ence for all.

Au­thor Eoin Colfer (above) with some of the school’s avid young readers, and ad­dress­ing the school­child­ren. RIGHT: Lucy Wick­ham presents a copy of her grandad, John Wick­ham’s book, ‘The Gal­lant Boys and Girls of Glynn-Barn­town 1883-2010’, to Eoin Colfer. On left is Louisa O’Brien, school prin­ci­pal.

Guest Eoin Colfer cuts the rib­bon to of­fi­cially open the new li­brary at Barn­town Na­tional School.

Ais­ling En­right and Eoin Reynolds make a pre­sen­ta­tion of a Paul Maloney print ‘Child­hood is a Short Sea­son’ to Eoin Colfer.

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