You’ve got to take your hat off to Niall Macmonagle
Einstein once said that it is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression.
Niall Macmonagle, the Sunday Independent’s esteemed art guru and onetime teacher, certainly did that with his most famous pupil — the one and only Graham Norton...
Norton credited Niall with imbuing the aforesaid legendary Corkman, and one of the BBC’S biggest talents, with his love of writing.
Now Niall is becoming something of a legend himself. No — the BBC aren’t giving him his own show.
Last week, he made a show of himself (in a good way in a funny hat and gown) in UCD when he was honoured with the degree of doctorate of literature, honoris causa by UCD in recognition of his outstanding work as an educator, broadcaster and cultural commentator.
Lest we forget, Niall, who taught for 30 years in Wesley College, developed the Lifelines Project: Letters From Famous People About Their Favourite Poems in the mid 1980s (a project which raised significant funds for charity).
He’s also edited school poetry textbooks annually since 2002 and published many poetry anthologies, including the acclaimed Windharp dedicated to poems commemorating 1916.
And, of course, Niall writes the much loved What Lies Beneath art column in Living every Sunday in the Sindo.
Arty congratulations... the Sindo’s Niall Macmonagle