Robert Dunbar Memorial Libraries winners 2021

Children’s Books Ireland announces fourth annual Robert Dunbar Memorial Libraries winners – Four libraries of 300 books each to be donated to schools in Dublin, Offaly and Armagh

Children’s Books Ireland are pleased to announce this year’s winners of a Robert Dunbar Memorial Library, named in memory of our former patron and long-time friend of the organisation. This was the biggest year for applications yet, with close to 400 schools applying. This brings the total to 1100 applications received over the four year period since this programme began – clearly showing the dire need that schools have for quality, contemporary reading materials for their students. As in previous years, teachers described empty shelves, purchasing books out of their own pockets and scouring charity shops, all compounded by the impact of Covid–19; which has led to a reduction in lending of the books they do have, not being able to let the children browse, or share books, a curtailment of many of the fun activities around books and reading, stopping reading programmes that involved parents/guardians, grandparents or other adults encouraging reading in the home and the additional demand for more books for children at home for long periods. The need for books in schools is stark, and we wish we were in a position to help much more schools than we are currently able to. One positive we have noted, is a solidification in schools on the importance of reading for pleasure and a real focus on that as key this year. It is clear how hard teachers and schools work on creating a space for children to read for pleasure, and how creative they are at finding a way around the many challenges and obstacles this year.

The winning schools this year demonstrated a real love for books and belief in the importance of reading for pleasure, as well as a clear need for support. They are:

  • Riverview Educate Together National School, Dublin 12
  • St. Joseph’s National School, Offaly
  • St. Brigid’s Junior School, Dublin 24
  • Lough Road Learning Centre, Armagh

Runner-up: St. Cillian’s National School, Dublin 12

We would also like to highly commend the schools below for excellent applications, and their hard work in prioritising reading for pleasure and a culture of reading in their schools.

Highly Commended – Primary Schools

  1. An Teaghlaigh Naofa, Waterford
  2. Ballymore National School, Letterkenny, Donegal
  3. Charleville CBS Primary, Cork
  4. Claregalway Educate Together National School, Galway
  5. Clooneyquinn National School, Roscommon
  6. Cnoc Mhuire Senior School, Dublin 24
  7. Crossreagh National School, Cavan
  8. Doora National School, Clare
  9. Gaelscoil an Chaisleáin, Bhaile an Chollaigh, Co. Chorcaí
  10. Kiltrustan National School, Roscommon
  11. Powerstown Educate Together National School, Dublin 15
  12. Presentation Primary Fermoy, Cork
  13. Presentation Primary School, Kilkenny
  14. Ravenswell Primary School, Wicklow
  15. Saint Audoen’s National School, Dublin 8
  16. Scoil Chroí Íosa, Galway
  17. Scoil Mhuire Senior, Dublin 15
  18. Scoil Mhuire, Wexford
  19. Scoil na Croise Naofa, Cork
  20. Scoil Oilibhéir Naofa, Meath
  21. Scoil Sinéad National School, Dublin 11
  22. St John’s Girls and Infant Boys School, Limerick
  23. St Joseph’s CBS, Drogheda, Louth
  24. St. Bernadette’s Senior National School, Dublin 22
  25. St. Brendan’s National School, Westport, Mayo
  26. St. Colmcille’s Senior National School, Dublin 16
  27. St. Edward’s National School, Sligo
  28. St. Joseph’s National School, Louth
  29. Thornleigh Educate Together National School, Dublin
  30. Tuam Educate Together National School, Galway

Highly Commended – Secondary Schools

  1. Clounagh Junior High School, Armagh
  2. Rosary College, Dublin 12
  3. Cork Educate Together Secondary School, Cork
  4. Coláiste Éinde, Galway
  5. St. Dominic’s School, Antrim
  6. Coláiste Chiaráin, Athlone, Westmeath
  7. St Peter’s College, Dunboyne, Meath
  8. Sancta Maria College, Louisburgh, Mayo

Thanks to the Irish Copyright Licensing Agency for their support of this project.