One fifth of parents 'never read to children'
ONE-in-five parents never read to their children, new research reveals.
And a third of parents cited a lack of time as the main reason for not reading more to their young ones.
The survey, by Amarach Research, found that adults who were read to children were 30pc more likely to spend five or more hours each week reading.
Niamh Sharkey, the author and illustrator behind the 'Hugglewug' series of children's books which are being turned into a Disney animation, said the importance of reading to youngsters cannot be overemphasised.
"I think Irish people really love reading.
"I make picture books for little kids and still sales are really up. We do read to our children more than other nations I'd say. So it is just to remind ourselves," said Ms Sharkey as she backed the Get Into Reading campaign from book retailer Eason.
Four-in-five people were encouraged to read by their parents, and 69pc reported being read to as a child.
Child psychotherapist Dr John Sharry said bedtime reading provided great "educational benefits" and could also form an important ritual in getting a "good night's sleep".