Dr Mary Barry Wall Bursary

Dr Mary Barry Wall Bursary

After a lifetime of teaching in the School of Education at UCC, Dr Mary Barry Wall’s impact on her colleagues and her students is evident in the testimonials below. She finished her career as Senior Lecturer in the School of Education where she was much loved and respected.

Now, her impact on the university will be transformational as she donates to the School of Education to support both undergraduate humanities students and postgraduate students taking the Professional Masters in Education (PME). A total of 23 students will be supported by the Dr Mary Barry Wall Bursary, 15 at undergrad level and 8 at postgrad PME level. All of us at UCC, particularly the School of Education and UCC Access are both humbled and delighted with this Bursary.



 “This generous donation is visionary in the New Ireland. It will help 8 students realise their dream to be a teacher by following the Master’s in Education Programme. It will enable them to join the most noble of professions (teaching) and to inspire future generations” 

Dr Fiona Chambers, Head of School of Education UCC 


 “The impact this donation will have is incalculable. It will help 15 students pursue a primary degree in the Humanities and then, if they so wish, to follow a career in teaching. Mary’s generosity will be transformational in the lives of these students. Her legacy will live on through them and we are profoundly grateful.” 

Olive Byrne, Head of UCC Access 

“A wonderful teacher” 

I remember "Miss Barry" very well, as this is how she introduced herself on the first day. She was a wonderful teacher whose lectures were always prepared with meticulous attention to detail. She had a very analytical mind which suited science graduates like myself. In particular, I vividly recall her wonderful lectures on the theory of learning developed by Johann Pestallozi and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's theory of Education. 

She used to lecture to the HDipEd students in G1 Kane Building. The lecture theatre held about 200 students, and it was always packed to capacity. Miss Barry had a commanding presence in the lecture theatre as we all diligently took notes. There were no online resources available in those days, so lecture notes were the key to success. She had great clarity of diction and, despite the lack of data projectors and Powerpoint presentations, she succeeded in keeping us all interested in the topic. She always interspersed stories and interesting nuggets of information throughout the lecture - and even cracked the occasional joke! Mary took her job very seriously and she was always dressed in a very professional and elegant manner with impeccable grooming - not a hair astray! 

I met Mary several times in UCC when I used to come into the Department of Education as a part-time member of staff to give science pedagogy lectures. I remember bumping into her one day in Leeholme and commenting how much I enjoyed her lectures. "It's good to hear that from a science man!" she retorted. 

Dr Declan Kennedy MSc, MEd, PhD, HDE, FICI. Senior Lecturer in Science Education, School of Education, UCC 


“A wonderfully warm and supportive academic colleague” 

I knew Dr Mary Barry Wall initially as an inspiring lecturer, then as an assiduous research supervisor and finally as a wonderfully warm and supportive academic colleague in the Education Department in UCC. In all of these contexts she displayed the admirable personal and professional qualities of integrity and authenticity in her role as an educator. 

She had herself taught at second level and was keenly aware of the challenge that second-level teaching presents. Her approach to her role then was to ensure that teachers were equipped with a theoretical and philosophical framework for their practice in the classroom. She was intent on developing reflective and questioning practitioners long before this approach became the de rigueur stance in the professional development of teachers. She had a decidedly forthright approach to her students demanding from them the same level of commitment to the profession that she 

manifested in her own practice. In that way it is not surprising that she achieved a widespread reputation for inspiring students with a vision of the profession and its significant role in society. Allied with this was her lifetime efforts to motivate teachers to continue with their educational studies to resist the impact of “le train-train de la vie quotidienne” of the classroom. 

Her rich cultural sensibility and intellectual energy were a joy to encounter; one felt enriched from meeting her particularly when her quiet capacity for wit was on display in a manner that was memorable and uniquely her own. It was a privilege to have known Mary as a colleague and friend. 

Dr Tom Mullins, Former Senior Lecturer and Former Head of School of Education, UCC 


“An outstanding teacher and academic” 

We worked with Mary in the 80s and 90s. A very different UCC… Academics in the Department of Education at that time were mostly addressed by their academic titles. The Higher Diploma in Education and the M.Ed. were the main programmes in the Department of Education. Mary’s speciality was languages and she also lectured on the Curriculum and Humanistic Foundations of Education (ED401/3) on the H. Dip; in addition to contributing to the Masters programme. She was also associated with the then Department of Adult Education’s very successful community outreach programmes, travelling throughout Munster contributing to the special lecture series bringing adult education to a wider audience. 

Mary will be remembered as an outstanding teacher and academic. Like so many of her colleagues at that time, she wore her academicals to lectures (this was the era of chalk boards!). 

She became Acting Head of the Department of Education when Professor Donal Mulcahy resigned and moved to the US. While Head of the Department, she successfully oversaw the removal of the threatened closure of at least one NUI Department of Education (by the State Department of Education) in 1990/91 during Professor Michael Mortell’s presidency. This was her administrative legacy to UCC. Mary was respected by all staff and students; during her Headship she greatly appreciated and recognised the support of administrative staff. We also fondly remember her late husband, Liam. 

Claire Dooley, Senior Executive Assistant, School of Education, UCC; & Hannah Joyce, Former Manager, School of Education, UCC 

New Avenues to Teaching (NAT)

Bealaí Nua Teagaisc

Lucan Place | School of Education,