Louise O’Neill, curator and host of Teachers Inspire podcast, and Miriam O’Callaghan, with Joe McAndrew, retired principal from Banagher NS. Photo: Kyran O'Brien/DCU Communications Department.

Mayo principal receives prestigious Teachers Inspire Award

A RETIRED Mayo school principal has received the prestigious Teachers Inspire Ireland Desmond Award.

Joe McAndrew, retired principal from Banagher National School in north Mayo, was presented with the award at a special 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, alongside three other teachers from across Ireland.

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, he was 'a man before his time', with a passion for gender equality that he instilled in all of his students. “He made a conscious effort to make sure we were all equals,” says Ann.

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.

The Teachers Inspire initiative is supported by a philanthropic donation from Dermot Desmond.