A retired county Mayo school principal yesterday received the prestigious Teachers Inspire Ireland Desmond Award.
Joe McAndrew, a retired Principal of Banagher National school, now known as Lacken NS, received the award at a ceremony in Dublin City University, hosted by RTÉ Broadcaster Miriam O’Callaghan.
Mr. McAndrew was recognised for the inspirational role he played in the lives of his students.
He was nominated by past pupil Ann Loughney, who has carried Joe’s compassion and inspiration with her throughout her adult life. As a teacher in the 1980s she said “he was a man before his time” with a passion for gender equality that he instilled in all of his students and “he made a conscious effort to make sure we were all equals”. He also prepared his pupils for the world of the future, bringing his own computer into school for students to learn about it, in an era when computers were years away from being in the average household.
Organised and run by Dublin City University, Teachers Inspire is an Ireland-wide initiative that seeks to celebrate teachers and recognise the transformative role they play in our lives and in our communities.