St Finian’s pupils help launch MS annual readathon

St Finian’s pupils help launch MS annual readathon

THE 30th MS Readathon was launched with Felicity Dahl marking the milestone for the sponsored reading initiative.

Felicity’s late husband, Roald Dahl launched the first ever MS Readathon in 1988, beginning three decades of adventures in reading.



More than 10,000 young readers in schools around the country took part last year, reading 87,000 books in total and raising funds for people with Multiple Sclerosis in their community. 

Joining Felicity Dahl at the launch of the 30th MS Readathon were children from 4th class in St Finians Newcastle Lyons, County Dublin. Multiple Sclerosis Ireland is inviting schools and home readers to sign up for the 30th MS Readathon.

The reading month will take place from October 13 to November 13. Please visit to find out more.

Felicity Dahl, speaking at the launch of the 30th MS Readathon: “Roald once said, 'if you can learn to treat books as your friends when you are young, you will always be able to cope with the tougher [more serious] ones in later life.' 

Over the past 30 years, MS Readathon has encouraged children all across Ireland to make friends with books and the reading habit whilst raising funds for a highly worthwhile cause. Roald helped to launch the very first MS Readathon in Ireland and I am delighted to be following in his rather giant footsteps to help launch this year’s MS Readathon.” 

 Some of Ireland’s leading authors and illustrators have also provided great support to the MS Readathon, including Sarah Webb, Cecelia Ahern, Nicola Pierce, Judi Curtin, Alan Early, Anna Carey, Roisin Meaney, Jon Berkeley, Oisin McGann, PJ Lynch, Matt Griffin, Sheila O’Flanagan, Claudia Carroll, Marisa Mackle, and Pauline McLynn.

The 30th MS Readathon encourages children to open a wonderful world of adventure and imagination through reading for a great cause.

Multiple Sclerosis Ireland is the only national services, information and advocacy organisation supporting people with MS and their families. 

More than 9,000 people are living with MS in Ireland, with thousands more family members affected. Multiple Sclerosis, meaning ‘many scars’, is the most common neurological disease of young adults in Ireland. MS affects the motor, sensory and cognitive functioning of the body and is usually diagnosed between 20 and 40 years of age.

There is currently no known cause or cure for the condition. MS symptoms include impaired mobility and vision, severe fatigue and cognitive difficulties. Three times more women than men are diagnosed with MS. 

Funds raised by young readers around the country directly support vital services, for example the MS Ireland Information Line, enabling one-to-one support for those newly diagnosed, physiotherapy and exercise classes to help people with MS remain independent, and respite care.

To increase awareness about Multiple Sclerosis for young readers, MS Ireland introduced MS schools ambassadors. People living with MS visit their local schools and talk about the complexity of the condition and the nature of relapses, or attacks when MS symptoms flare up.

Young readers can get their reading lists ready by checking the 2017 lists on featuring great books for kids from the new to the classics.