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Blackboard Awards 2024

Damian O'Neill

Good Shepherd Primary School

School website:
Subject or primary school year: Key Stage 2.
Your place of birth: Omagh Co. Tyrone.
Studied at: St. Mary's University College.
First job: Part-time storeman in the Co-Op in Omagh.
What it taught me: The importance of treating people in a respectful manner and the value of working as a team.
Family/status: Married with three children.
Best advice you could give someone thinking of a teaching career: Teaching is a wonderful vocation but you need to know that is right for you, so building up a range of experiences in school settings is therefore essential. Very soon you will experience both the joy and the demands of the role and be assured that you are on the correct pathway to a career in teaching.

I began working in Holy Child PS in Andersonstown immediately after finishing college and despite being from Omagh I have spent my entire career working in schools across the West Belfast and Colin areas. I was appointed as Principal of Good Shepherd P.S. in 2015 where I am now surrounded by a wonderful team of dedicated people who make every effort to ensure that our children receive the best educational experience possible. I really enjoy the atmosphere created in and around the school and the children feed off this positivity every day. I also love that our children engage in so many other aspects of school life, particularly sport and music, as they are passions of mine which I was fortunate to develop throughout my own educational journey.

I still enjoy music and have occasionally shared a song with the children at assemblies. I still try to kick a football around weekly – but only because teachers and coaches invested in me many years ago when I was very young. I feel deeply privileged to lead the staff of TGood Shepherd P.S. where the commitment to doing the best for our children is evident in the words and actions of staff, parents and governors alike. It really is a truly inspirational place to work. 

Blackboard Awards 2024