A drawing of Pope Francis and a letter to him by an eight year old girl from Mountrath in Laois, have been published in a book called Fáilte Pope Francis.
Niamh Coughlan from 2nd class in Scoil Bhride NS, is the only pupil from Laois featured in the book, which has 37 letters and drawings by prmary school children from all over Ireland.
Her teacher Ms Thompson sent off entries from all 17 of her 2nd and 3rd class pupils, and is delighted that Niamh was chosen.
“It is a great achievement for her. She is an excellent student, she works really hard and really enjoys art. This year is really special for her with her First Holy Communion,” she said.
Niamh's mother Anita is very proud of her.
“She is a quiet girl who loves her homework and learning. She is always willing to help and is so good natured. She is delighted to be in the book,” she said.
Niamh is making her communion in May, and has a strong religious faith.
“She has her dress, and is looking forward to it. She went to Knock last summer and said it was the best summer holidays she had. She hopes to go and see the Pope in August. She was delighted to give the news about the book to her Nana Margaret Hetherington who is very religious,” said Anita.
The book features a collection of messages and pictures by primary school children from across Ireland ahead of the visit from Pope Francis this summer.
Niamh drew a bright image of Pope Francis surrounded by a big rosary beads, holding a microphone.
Her letter reads as follows:
We are so excited to welcome you to Ireland in 2018.
I am in second class. I will be making my First Holy Communion next year. I can't wait! I am eight years old. I hope I can see you. We are learning about Jesus.
Is it hard being a Pope? What is the hardest thing about being a Pope? I am going to be a teacher”.
The Pope will come to Ireland in August as part of the World Meeting of Families.
The competition by the Irish Catholic newspaper asked primary school children to draw a picture and write a letter of welcome to the Pope.
All royalties from the Fáilte Pope Francis book go to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.