Teachers Inspire Ireland 2021
Louise O Neill Profile

A great teacher can inspire us to reach our full potential, maybe even beyond what we thought possible.

I was so thrilled when I was asked to take part in the Teacher’s Inspire initiative. My mother was a teacher, my sister is a teacher, two of my aunts are teachers, and my first cousin is currently training to be a teacher. I suppose you could say it’s something of a family tradition at this point! My sister teaches at primary school level and I’ve seen first-hand how dedicated she is to her job and how seriously she takes her responsibility to her students, especially during Covid. Watching her has helped me to understand that teaching is not just a job, it’s a vocation and one that needs to be respected. We all know how important education is but it’s not just about maths and science and literacy skills - a good teacher can help their students feel encouraged and supported. A great teacher can inspire us to reach our full potential, maybe even beyond what we thought possible. I’m hoping that by gathering stories about the wonderful teachers working in Ireland today, it will help us all remember how inspirational teachers can be. I’m excited to get started!


About Louise O’Neill

Louise O’Neill grew up in Clonakilty, a small town in West Cork, Ireland. Her first novel, Only Ever Yours, was released in 2014. Only Ever Yours went on to win the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year at the 2014 Bord Gáis Energy Irish Book Awards; the Children’s Books Ireland Eilís Dillon Award for a First Children’s Book; and The Bookseller‘s inaugural YA Book Prize 2015.

Louise’s second novel, Asking For It, was published in September 2015 to widespread critical acclaim. She went on to win the Specsaver’s Senior Children’s Book of the Year at the 2015 Irish Book Awards, and was awarded the American Library Association's Michael L. Printz honour. Asking For It was voted Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards 2015 and spent 52 consecutive on weeks in the Irish top 10 bestseller list. The New York Times called it “riveting and essential”; and The Guardian named O’Neill ”the best YA fiction writer alive today.”; Both novels have been optioned for screen.

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