Dublin teachers up for inaugural Teachers Inspire award

by Rachel Darcy

A handful of Dublin teachers have been named on the shortlist for the inaugural Teachers Inspire Ireland initiative, which focuses on highlighting the contribution teachers make to Irish society.

The initiative was launched by Dublin City University (DCU) earlier this year, with the support of businessman and philanthropist, Dermot Desmond.

The college called for members of the public to share their personal stories of how a teacher transformed their lives and / or their community. Twenty shortlisted teachers were shortlisted from over 400 entries.

The teachers nominated in Dublin include Nora Duffy, who taught at St Joseph’s Co-Educational National School in East Wall, and was nominated by past pupil Caitríona Ní Cassaithe, who went on to pursue a career in education herself, inspired by Nora.

Mary Daly and Niamh Smith

Mary Daly, who recently retired from St Dominic’s College in Ballyfermot, was nominated by Niamh Smith for her impact on students and the community.

Also nominated is John O’Brien, who taught at St Patrick’s National School on Rutland Street, now known as Rutland National School. John was nominated by Paddy Reid, whom he taught in the 1960s and who describes him as “the most important role model for many of us kids from the Dublin tenements”.

Another teacher, Ann Moriarty, was nominated by Phyllis Lawlor. Ann founded Smart Agers, a group that helps people learn how to use smart devices, teaching courses at the Evergreen Centre in Terenure and at Tennent Hall in Rathgar.

Ann Moriarty and Phyllis Lawlor

Seamas Cassidy, a former Christian Brother, who lives in Drumcondra but taught at Tuam CBS, was also nominated by Liam, whom he taught in the 1970s.

Announcing the shortlist, Professor Brian MacCraith, President of DCU, said: “The entries submitted to Teachers Inspire Ireland demonstrate just how significant a role teachers play in Irish life.

“We received stories about teachers dealing in an inspirational way with major societal challenges. We received stories of teachers who have played – and continue to play – a key part in helping individuals and whole communities adapt to change.

“What is abundantly clear from the nominations received, is the extent to which so many teachers go above and beyond their ‘job description.”

A gala event will take place at The Helix on 4th October, at which four of the shortlisted teachers – one from each province – will receive the inaugural Teachers Inspire Ireland Desmond Awards.

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