Laois Education Centre last week celebrated the publication of books designed, written and produced by over eight hundred and fifty hundred primary school pupils in twenty four schools from counties Laois, Offaly, and north Tipperary. This is a 50% increase from last year’s project. Hundreds of young authors converged on the Montague Hotel Portlaoise for an Awards Ceremony, where certificates and prizes were handed out by Don Conroy, artist, author and television personality.


Niamh Campion, Chairperson of Laois Education Centre complimented all the pupils, their teachers and parents for their wonderful work and welcomed Don Conroy and thanked him for his ongoing support.


Tony Mahon, Director of Laois Education Centre said “this annual evening is one of the most important in the year for Laois Education Centre. It is an opportunity for us to say thank you to all the pupils, teachers and parents and all who are involved with you in producing your books.  Books of every variety and are from diverse cultural backgrounds, including travel books, stories, poetry, history, sport, cookery, and many others, with imaginative and brightly coloured illustrations.  The Gaelscoil Phortlaoise also participated with books written in Irish. This year three schools entered books as Gaeilge which was books they had produced as part of the Leabhar Beag project. The illustrations, drawings and art work are very impressive and Don Conroy you have serious competition here in the midlands” 


Mr Mahon congratulated everyone on their hard work and said their creativity is very obvious.  

He also thanked all the teachers who read the books, Rosemary, Yvonne and Bridie for all their hard work in organising the project and Laois County enterprise Board who are our partners in this project.  He also extended a special welcome to Don Conroy from RTE who has been with us every year and thanked him for his support.


Don Conroy commended all the pupils for their creativity and imagination, and congratulated teachers and parents for supporting the authors of the future with enthusiasm and commitment. 




Write-a-Book Project Merit Award Winners


Ballinakill NS, Laois                             Nicole McKenzie, Sinead O’ Callaghan, Liadha Madden


Ballyadams NS, Laois:              Gearoid Lacey, Joseph Devoy, Kaytlin O’ Keeffe, Garry

                                                            Knowles, Lorna Butler, Eve Murphy, Rachel Fleming


Camross NS, Laois:                             Demi Ryan, Aine Bennett, Maeve Collier, Therese Tynan

                                                            Marie Delaney, Amy Delaney, Martha Stakuc, Meagan

                                                            McGlynn, Barry Delaney, Gearoid Leahy, Junior &

                                                            Senior Infants Class, Shauna Hennessy, David Palmer.


Carrig NS, Birr, Offaly:             Tim Hogan, Shauna Cleary


Castlecuffe NS, Clonaslee, Laois:         Darren Campbell, Sarah Conway


Clonaghadoo NS, Offaly:                      John Drumm, Rebecca Green


Coolderry NS, Birr, Offaly                   Emma Burke, Michelle Mann, Jessica Maloney


Gaelscoil Phortlaoise, Laois                  Fionn O Caomhánach, Pilib O Dúla


Geashill NS:                                         Nigel Paisley, James Lalor


Mercy Convent Borris-in-Ossory:         Michela Quinn, Roisin Scully, Ciara Ward, Ryanne Dooley, Jessica O’ Brien, Lisa Maher


Scoil Naomh Abban, Newtown:           Siobhan Nash, Davina Brennan, Brian Shiels, Celine O’ Reilly


Presentation Convent Portarlington:       Michelle Ward, Melissa Ward,


Rath NS, Ballybrittas, Laois:                 Eva McLonghlin, Sean Fowler, John O’ Neill,

Grace  McClintock


Sacred Heart PS, Portlaoise:                 Ellen O’ Sullivan, Chloe Lawlor           


Scoil Mhuire Portlaoise:                        Paige Fitzgibbon, Emer Bennett, Maggie O’ Connor,                                                     Claire O’ Brien, 4th Class – Leabhar Beag


Scoil Mhuire Abbeyleix:                        Gillian O’ Connell, Rory Moloney


Scoil Naomh Eoin, Rath, Birr:               Emily O’ Brien, Wesley Doyle, Patrick Horan, Anna Kinsella, Sean Kinsella, Leanne Dooley, Siobhan Kinsella


Shanahoe NS, Abbeyleix, Laois:           Jack Sinnott, Junior Infants and Senior Infants


Shinrone NS, Birr, Co Offaly:               Kate Egan, Shane Coffey, Carl Stringer, Michael Hogan,         

St Brendan’s NS Birr, Offaly:               David Kennedy, Wayne McDonagh


St Joseph’s GNS Mountmellick:           Ailbhe Gorman, Alice McCann, Jessica Lawlor, Aine Delaney, Orla Monahan, Rebecca Milmoe, Ruth Williams, Rachel Forde, Eva Maher, Keara Murphy


St Kieran’s NS, Broughall, Offaly:        Anthony Kilmartin, Siobhan Egan, Edel Egan


Timahoe NS, Laois                               Christopher Carew, Padraig Conlan


Wolfhill NS, Wolfhill, Laois                   Rebecca Loftus, Anna Hickey, Kerena Mullins, Ciara Moore, Linda Maloney, Daniel Hickey, Michael Keogh, Lauren Wheatley