Comhghairdeas Colm Óg Breatnach and Daragh Gildea – winners of the Ireland Reads competition

 Congratulations to Daragh Gildea, Scoil Mhuire NS, Glenties and Colm Óg Breathnach, Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin Leitir Ceanainn who were the two winners in the Ireland Reads competition run by the Donegal Library Service. Comhghairdeas also to Gartan NS and Scoil Naomh Bríd Muff who won class prizes.


Ireland Reads is an annual campaign by Libraries Ireland that encourages people to take the pledge to ‘Squeeze in a Read’.  The campaign which is part of the government’s Healthy Ireland programme aims to celebrate reading and all the benefits it can have for wellbeing and enjoyment. Just like sport, there is much research which shows how beneficial reading can be to our mental health. With this in mind, Donegal Library Service teamed up with the Donegal GAA Health and Wellbeing Committee to encourage primary school students to ‘Squeeze in a Read’ on February 25th. A slogan competition was organised whereby the young people where asked to come up with a catchy motto that sums up the importance of both Gaelic Games and reading to their wellbeing.  With prizes of Donegal jerseys and match tickets up for grabs, there was no shortage of interest across the county.



Although some people may not see reading and Gaelic Games as going hand-in-hand, for me, growing up in a GAA mad house in Glenswilly, the two have always been connected.  Preparation for any big Donegal game involved reading every paper you could get your hands on and no matchday was complete without the programme, which of course was never thrown out but kept in order build up your own football library at home! Similar to many of others I found that reading and exercise grew in importance to my own wellbeing as a distraction and a comfort during these past few difficult years.

Like the GAA ground, the library places itself at the heart of the community. It is open to all and there to provide a service to you. Books can be requested from libraries all over Ireland, there is access to computers, Wi-Fi and printers and library staff are there to help you in your research whether that be for local history or access to services such as Work Matters or Healthy Ireland. For those unable to make it to their local library, the Doorstep Delivery Service is there to bring books to you and many books can now be read online using BorrowBox at


Mar leabharlannaí i Leabharlann Phobail Ghaoth Dobhair, caithfidh mé a rá go bhfuil réimse leathan leabhar ar fáil do achan léitheoir. Bhí sé tábhachtach dom chomh maith go raibh deis ag páistí páirt a ghlacadh sa chomórtas seo trí mheán na Gaeilge. It was an honour to read the many entries for this competition and although it was difficult selecting just two winners from so many outstanding slogans, I believe those we have chosen very much capture the importance of reading and Gaelic Games to our wellbeing.

  • Having time to read and time to play Gaelic games helps me stay healthy because: an active body sharpens the brain and an active brain improves your game!
  • Daragh Gildea Scoil Mhuire NS Glenties
  • Bainim tairbhe as an léitheoireacht agus bainim tairbhe as na Cluichí Gaelacha mar: músclaíonn an t-eolas m’anam agus beathaíonn na Cluichí Gaelacha mo chorp!
  • Colm óg Breathnach Gaelscoil Adhamhnáin Leitir Ceanainn
  • Congratulations also to Gartan NS and Scoil Naomh Bríd Muff who won class prizes.

Thank you to Noreen Doherty and the Donegal GAA Health & Wellbeing Committee for their support of the competition and sponsorship of the prizes.