Féilte interview with Fintan O’Toole

Youth Media Team members Brídín and Jack interview columnist and author Fintan O’Toole, Deputy Editor of the Irish Times.

The @fotoole Interview

Fintan understands the problems facing the education system as his wife is a teacher. He understands the challenges teachers encounter at the moment, particularly as they face cuts to funding and resources. Within fifteen minutes of Fintan’s lecture beginning, over 100 tweets flew out of the audience, establishing #féilte as one of the foremost trending hashtags today during this celebration of World Teacher’s day. Fintan was interrupted several times during his talk by enthusiastic applause from the audience.

Fintan believes technology can make learning easier and better. However, sometimes nothing compares to quiet time just reading about a topic. Technology can be hyper-active and can distract us from thinking deeply. His time in Primary School was not enjoyable as corporal punishment was still the norm. He didn’t feel safe in school but he did say he had some really wonderful teachers. In his opinion the best thing that has happened to Primary Education is the end to violence towards children. How we treat old people and children is the measure of how well our society is functioning.

Ultimately we want students to be confident, creative and critical and they inherit these characteristics from teachers, who need to model this behaviour. So we need to trust teachers. If Fintan was Minister for Education, he would trust teachers to use their Croke Park hours as they see fit. It is very insulting to say that you don’t trust them to use their time wisely. Teachers should be given freedom to innovate in their classrooms and not become box tickers.

Interview with Helen English from eTwinning #Feilte

eTwinning is the community for schools in Europe.  It offers a platform for teachers who are working in a school in one of the European countries involved, to communicate, collaborate, develop and share projects with other European schools. The eTwinning action promotes school collaboration in Europe through the use of ICT in the classroom by providing support, tools and services for schools. Helen English shared her thoughts with Éadaoin.

Interview with Rozz Lewis #Feilte

Rozz Lewis loves writing and reading (and talking!). She has written articles for the Irish Times, Sunday Times, INTOuch magazine, writing.ie and co-edits and writes for Anseo.net. She left being a principal to become a teacher, as she wanted to be more involved with teaching and learning. She teaches English as a foreign language in Portlaoise, in the new Educate Together school, something which she finds very rewarding. She loves English, as well as SPHE and art.

Interview by Seán and Éadaoin de Burca.

Interview with Tomás O’Ruairc #Feilte

Interview with Tomás O’Ruairc from the Teaching Council, here today to congratulate teachers. He gives his views on the role of technology in education and how teachers can use technological ideas without copying them exactly.

Interview by Seán and Éadaoin de Búrca

Interview with Fred Boss #Féilte

Fred Boss is an education officer with NCCA (National Council  for Curriculum and Assessment). This is a space that was built to house the weekly online chats (every Monday night 8.30 – 9.30pm) of Irish educators ( primary and post primary teachers and third level (college and university) lecturers) as they discuss all things education.  Despite there being a heat wave when he had his Leaving Certificate Art History examination, he went on to student Art at the National College of art and design, and progressed to becoming an art teacher.

Interview by Seán and Éadaoin de Búrca

Interview with Helen Bullock at CESImeet FEILTE.


As part of CESImeet and FEILTE Helen Bullock  [ @HowILearn  ] released her new open source book How I Learn which shows about different learning methods.This is a ‘crowdsourced’ book with lots of interesting things said by the contributors about the ways they learn. We enjoyed talking to her very much.



Interview by; Finn Briody and David Lombard