The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By STEPHEN FERNANE

“I’M de­lighted with this hon­our and I think it’s ter­rific for some­one who has spent his life­time in a class­room to be hon­oured in this way,” said Niall MacMonagle in re­sponse to his Hon­orary Doc­tor­ate of Lit­er­a­ture at Univer­sity Col­lege Dublin in recog­ni­tion of his out­stand­ing work in the Arts.

In what was a very proud oc­ca­sion for Niall and his fam­ily, the Kil­lar­ney man em­pha­sised the im­por­tance of the Arts in to­day’s world. “We now live in a time when sport and mu­sic dom­i­nates pop­u­lar cul­ture, but when peo­ple re­flect on the Arts they re­alise and learn to ap­pre­ci­ate the depth of think­ing it brings,” said Niall.

Be­ing in class­room with young peo­ple and en­cour­ag­ing them to dis­cover and en­joy a life of read­ing and think­ing has given Niall the most plea­sure in his ca­reer to date.

“It’s not the suit on your back, it’s not the car that you drive, it’s what’s go­ing on inside your head and heart that mat­ters. Watch­ing young peo­ple be­ing in­tro­duced to a poet that they may not have heard of be­fore, and see­ing the in­flu­ence this has on them is just some­thing deep and in­ter­est­ing,” he added.

UCD Pres­i­dent Pro­fes­sor An­drew Deeks said Niall en­joyed a hugely suc­cess­ful ca­reer as a teacher, an­thol­o­gist, broad­caster and cul­tural com­men­ta­tor; adding that Niall’s ded­i­ca­tion, gen­eros­ity and his in­fec­tious en­thu­si­asm for the Arts played an in­spir­ing role in cel­e­brat­ing the power and value of ed­u­ca­tion. Mar­garet Kelleher, Pro­fes­sor of An­glo Lit­er­a­ture and Drama at UCD, Arts and Hu­man­i­ties said the col­lege salutes in es­teem and with grat­i­tude the work of Niall as ad­vo­cate for the arts and cham­pion for po­etry.

A re­tired English and drama teacher, Niall en­joyed over three decades at Wesley Col­lege in Dublin where he cre­ated ‘Po­etry Aloud’, a na­tion­wide com­pe­ti­tion and po­etry speak­ing ini­tia­tive. He was ed­u­cated at Pal­laskenry and re­ceived his BA and MA from Univer­sity Col­lege Cork. He makes fre­quent ap­pear­ances in the na­tional me­dia.

Photo Iain White / Fen­nell Pho­tog­ra­phy

UCD Pres­i­dent Pro­fes­sor An­drew Deeks con­ferred Niall MacMonagle with an Hon­orary Doc­tor­ate of Lit­er­a­ture in recog­ni­tion of his out­stand­ing work and in­flu­ence in the Arts and his tire­less sup­port of Ir­ish cul­ture.

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