Ceann Comhairle puts his skills of keeping order to use for NCBI’S National Table Quiz
The Ceann Comhairle, Kildare’s Sean O’ Fearghail, normally more at home keeping order on heated debates in the Dail, was keeping check on a different group of people this week at Ireland’s only National Table Quiz.
The National Council for the Blind of Ireland organised the annual event in a bid to provide Braille, audio and large print books for people who have sight loss in Ireland.
Sean’s genial style proved to be a hit with the brainy bunch of dedicated quiz teams. In the end, ‘The Norfolk and Chance’ from Lucan beat off stiff competition from fifteen other teams and scooped the top prize of €3,000.
Team leader, Dan O’ Malley said “We are thrilled with our win. We love table quizzes and the NCBI is a truly deserving cause which we are delighted to support”.
Congratulating the winners Sean said “The standard was top class today and it is great when people’s passions and interests match the very deserving cause that is the NCBI. The importance of reading cannot be overstated. NCBI is actively lobbying for change so that more printed material is accessible to people who are blind or vision impaired. The NCBI National Table Quiz is an excellent opportunity to focus the mind on the issues that the blind community encounter in relation to reading.”
The national Braille, audio and large print library does not receive any statutory funding, so its production and distribution capacity is limited. There are 54,810 people who are blind or vision impaired in Ireland, but NCBI’s library is the only producer of unabridged audio books in the country. The library currently records 30 titles each year that would not otherwise be available in full to blind readers.
This service is hugely important to people who are blind or vision impaired as 4% of what appears in print is not accessible to a person who is blind or vision impaired. Funds raised through the National Table Quiz will enable the charity to increase this capacity.
According to NCBI’s CEO Chris White: “Our aim in NCBI is to provide accessible literature to people who are blind or vision impaired. Public libraries currently have a limited selection of books in accessible formats so people with sight loss rely on one primary source for accessible reading material, which is NCBI’s library. Literacy is hugely important and our library is vital. We were delighted with Sean’s help and support for the NCBI today and he showed himself to be a very capable Quizmaster!”
Headline sponsor for the event, CEO of Fujitsu, Tony O’Malley said: “Fujitsu Ireland is delighted to be supporting NCBI’s National Table Quiz. Our focus as a company is to provide technology solutions that are human centric for people’s everyday lives, and we are delighted to be working with an organisation that is continually making a difference to people and broader communities all over Ireland. Well done and congratulations to all of those involved in this year’s National Table Quiz”.