It was my last year of college before I realised you could CHOOSE your tutors.
During our first tutorial, packed into his crowded little office, he answered the phone and started gabbling in Irish - if we hadn't been intimidated before...
I was writing on something quite new, and there was no real criticism yet. He said I'd have to write it myself, and when I expressed doubts, he said 'Oh, I know, it's terrifying!'
And then he went on sabbatical, having marked only that essay, using generous comments like 'brilliant', 'astute' and 'incisive'.
But he was my external supervisor for my messy, unedited thesis, and kindly argued my mark up for that. Thank you, Declan Kiberd!
He told us the story about Kavanagh and the pigs' liver, he's a master of the dirty joke. He incited us to walk on the grass in Trinity, despite the fearsome forbidding of Terence Brown!
He's a funny, lovely, clever man, full of interest and interestingness. I have such an academic crush, I'm so glad I got to be in his tutorial, and see his lectures, and meet him etc.
I just came across an interview with him, mentioning an interest in children's fiction I wasn't aware of. I don't know if anyone's interested, but I thought I'd wack up a link.
I love the photo I found - doesn't he look like you've seen him in Asterix?