Nora Duffy, left, with her nominator and former student, Caitríona Ní Cassaithe, having received a congratulatory bouquet of flowers, specially by Minister for Education and Skills, Joe McHugh TD
Dunfanaghy native Nora Duffy was named as one of Ireland’s most inspiring teachers at the Teachers Inspire Ireland gala event at the Helix in Dublin City University (DCU) on Friday night.
Ms Duffy moved from Donegal to teach at St. Joseph’s Co-Educational National School on the East Wall Road in Dublin in the 1960s. At last night’s event, she scooped the Teachers Inspire Ireland Desmond Award for Leinster, fending off stiff competition from teachers across the province.
She was awarded by Teachers Inspire Ireland because of her deep and long-lasting commitment to her local community. In a career spanning over 40 years, she left an enormous legacy and inspired her students to pursue their passions and dreams. Indeed, such was her impact that many of her students went on to become teachers and, in the case of her nominator, Caitríona Ní Cassaithe, returned to work beside her in St Joseph’s Co-Ed.
The President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith, Dr. Anne Looney, Dean of DCU’s Institute of Education; and businessman and philanthropist Dermot Desmond, who generously supported the Teachers Inspire Ireland initiative, made the presentations to the awardees at a gala ceremony hosted by RTÉ broadcaster, Miriam O’Callaghan.
Speaking at the event, the President of DCU, Professor Brian MacCraith, said: “The motivation behind Teachers Inspire was to create a platform that would highlight the work of our exceptional teachers, and give them the validation and recognition they deserve. I am delighted to say that this idea has truly captured the public’s imagination. We have received hundreds of nominations and heard incredible stories of teachers who have gone above and beyond for their students and their communities.
“The nominations highlighted teachers dealing with issues such as homelessness, mental health, immigration, unplanned pregnancies, gender identity support, community regeneration, and climate change. They were submitted by schoolchildren, parents, and people whose schooldays are long behind them but who remember their teachers with great fondness and gratitude.
“I congratulate Nora, and all the teachers recognised and celebrated at the gala event. Their awards are hugely well deserved,” he said.