Speaking after his attendance this morning (Thursday) at the launch of the ‘Right to Read’ campaign at Charleville Mall Library in the North Strand, Fine Gael Dublin Central TD and Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe, said the inability to read properly, or at all, still hinders far too many of our people who are prevented from reaching their full potential as a result.
The campaign sets out a new Local Authority strategy that will support literacy in the community through the development of our local library network, through housing initiatives and in the course of sport and recreation. The campaign was launched by the Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore TD, and the Minister for Housing and Planning, Jan O’Sullivan TD.
“Identifying the most effective ways to drive out disadvantage ensures that we are levelling the playing pitch for everyone. Making the best use of the resources at our disposal, like our local libraries which are taking a lead in this campaign, allows us to develop a strategy that stamp out illiteracy and improve the lives of those most in need.
“By putting literacy front and centre of Local Authority planning we are acknowledging the work that needs to be done in this area; and taking the steps to make the necessary improvements.
“The fact that a national steering group is to be established; a review of existing best practice is to be carried out; national guidelines for Literacy Action Plans are to be developed; and a core range of materials identified and standardised throughout libraries means that all communities will benefit from this initiative to the same extent, no matter where they are from.
“When it comes to literacy, the OECD in 2012 ranked Ireland 17th out of 24 for basic skills. Literacy and numeracy are the keys to a better life. They give us the freedom to grow and prosper and help us to develop the confidence to succeed. This programme, which promotes community-based and individual learning, is to be welcomed. I look forward to seeing it rolled out across Dublin Central and beyond.”