Bilingual Fairy Tale Goes Digital

13 April 2015

A beautifully illustrated, new digital version of a fairy tale, published in both Irish and English, was unveiled recently at St Mary’s University College by the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure, Carál Ní Chuilín.

L – R: Conánn Fitzpatrick, University of Ulster; Harriet Ferguson, NEETS Training Division, DEL; Marion Rose McFadden, Author; Cáral Ní Chuilín, DCAL Minister; Dr Gabrielle Nig Uidhir, Senior Tutor for Development,
St Mary’s University College Belfast; Mr Joe Conere, Digital Media Choices CIC

The Sunbeam Path / Slí Draoíchta an Gha Gréine
aims to encourage young children to read by offering an interactive experience in two languages using Apple’s latest iBook technology.

The Sunbeam Path is a story about a little girl called Nora. The story introduces several quirky characters and the make-believe world of Faery in a magical, engaging way.

The story, which is aimed at six to eight year olds, is the creation of Donegal author and artist Marion Rose McFadden. The story was animated by Dunmurry illustrator and sculptor Michael Murray, who also works as a designer on Game of Thrones creating amazing costumes for the show.

The launch event, organised by Digital Media Choices, provided invited school pupils and teachers an opportunity to experience the new iBook on multiple screens.

Speaking after the launch at St Mary’s, the Minister said: “Only last week I launched Seachtain na Gaeilge, which is important for raising the awareness of the Irish language.

“Every day the number of Irish speakers rises, and today has shown that innovation, creativity and artistic expression can be at the heart of new ways to promote the language.

“This new iBook encourages young children to read by offering an interactive experience in Irish and English. Launching this at the beginning of Creativity Month is also very apt as it showcases new ideas and novel approaches to tackling social and economic challenges and harnessing opportunities.

“I would like to thank Digital Media Choices and all those involved in the creation and production of this amazing work and wish them every success in bringing Nora to the world in Irish and English.”

For an opportunity to view footage of the event and interviews with the key contributors please visit the iBook Launch link.

This recording was filmed and produced by Ciarán Bradley, a past student of the College, in association with Northern Visions Productions, a local Belfast community television company.

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