Sandra Bell’s Teachers Inspire sculpture unveiled on DCU’s St. Patrick’s campus

(L-R) Sculptor Sandra Bell at the Teachers Inspire sculpture with Claire Whelehan, DCU Educational Trust, Mr. Dermot Desmond, Prof. Anne Looney, Executive Dean of the Institute of Education in DCU, Prof. Daire Keogh, President of DCU and Derek Bell
A new sculpture, Teachers Inspire by sculptor Sandra Bell, was unveiled at Dublin City University’s St. Patrick’s campus yesterday. It is part of Teachers Inspire, an Ireland-wide initiative that seeks to celebrate teachers and to recognise the transformative role they play in our lives and in our communities.

The piece was unveiled by Prof Daire Keogh, President of Dublin City University and Mr. Dermot Desmond, whose generous philanthropic donation supports Teachers Inspire.

This year’s Teachers Inspire campaign saw inspirational stories from all across the country. The shortlist is now live on and the four awardees will be announced in January. Teachers Inspire 2021 was curated by acclaimed author Louise O’Neill, who has also hosted the Teachers Inspire podcast, sharing stories of teachers who have made a difference.

Speaking at the unveiling of the sculpture, Prof Daire Keogh, President of Dublin City University said:

“This beautiful piece elegantly captures the spirit of the Teachers Inspire initiative. Sandra Bell’s creation is a very welcome addition to DCU’s historic St Patrick’s campus, which will be a focus for student celebration and reflection.”

Artist Sandra Bell said

“It has given me great pleasure to create this Teachers Inspire sculpture cast in bronze, commissioned by Dublin City University and generously sponsored by Mr. Dermot Desmond. It honours our teachers and acknowledges their dedication and the great work that they do.”

Mr. Dermot Desmond said

“I had a grand uncle and an uncle that attended Dublin City University [St. Patrick’s] and I felt that teachers were underappreciated and undervalued in society. I believe that education is the best investment any government can make. I really wanted teachers to be recognised, because teachers had a profound impact on my life, in advising, mentoring, educating and passing on knowledge.”

Prof Anne Looney, Executive Dean of Dublin City University’s Institute of Education said

“Teaching  and teachers have been under extraordinary pressure in the past 20 months, no more so than right now. More than a thousand student teachers from the DCU Institute of Education are currently working as substitute teachers in classrooms across the country. They will soon be joined by our early childhood specialists heading to support early learning and care settings struggling to provide a service for our youngest children.

This Teachers Inspire sculpture speaks to their endeavour and can do attitude, doing what teachers do every day, going above and beyond for their students.”


About Teachers Inspire

Teachers Inspire is an Ireland-wide initiative that seeks to celebrate teachers and to recognise the transformative role they play in our lives and in our communities.

It is organised and run by Dublin City University. It is generously supported by a philanthropic donation by Mr. Dermot Desmond. Mr. Desmond also supports The Desmond Chair in Early Childhood Education at DCU’s Institute of Education.

Teachers Inspire first ran in 2019. It was postponed in 2020 due to the pandemic.

About Sandra Bell

Sandra Bell makes sculpture in cast bronze and fabricated steel. The themes of harmony and balance are predominant in her sculpture. The simple lines are challenging. They create large spaces which allow a play of light throughout the sculptures. The smooth surfaces and soft curves draw one in, to interact with these living uncomplicated shapes.

She is based in Killin, near Dundalk, Co. Louth.

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