Roddy Doyle’s creative writing courses are being opened up to children all across Ireland. The Man Booker prize winner set up Fighting Words in 2009 with Sean Love, to provide free writing classes for children in Dublin’s north inner city.
This September the programme will expand to allow 5,000 children from all over Ireland access its courses in a facility in Wicklow.
This expansion was made possible by a €30,000 grant from the Irish Youth Foundation (IYF).
IYF CEO Niall McLoughlin said: “Fighting Words encourages creative writing for children and operates out of north Dublin and they’re at maximum capacity. They help 10,000 children every year in creative writing and he’s a firm believer that creative writing is a great way of giving kids self-confidence in their own abilities.
“So this year the IYF is providing a grant of €30,000 to Fighting Words to start a project in Glencree, a beautiful setting in Enniskerry, Co Wicklow. The idea is that 5,000 children from around the country will be able to come and do the Fighting Words programme there.
“Glencree will be for everyone, it’s accessible. It’s a magical place, it’s fairytale like. It’s in a valley and a river runs through it, with a woods, on 30 acres of land and it starts in September,” Mr McLoughlin added.
“It’s all free. Say if it was a school down in Kerry, they’d have to pay their transport costs to get there but everything else is free in terms of the programme. It operates seven days a week, mornings and afternoons.”
Hollywood actor Colin Farrell said the programme means that children experiencing disadvantage will have a voice. “The work they are doing is real and lasting. It is holding up a light to those who have too much shadow in their lives and that light is saying: ‘we care,’ that light is saying, ‘you have a voice, you will be heard’.”
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