As it was in the beginning

As it was in the beginning - Page 3



The new community school was initially housed in the then Vocational school at Main Road (later to become the new VEC offices for County Dublin). Mr Padraic Heeran, a member of the staff of Templeogue School was chosen as Principal with Sr Aileen of the Holy Faith Order as Deputy Principal. Sr Aileen was an experienced educator with teaching and leadership service in Ireland and in the U.S. A Marist Brother - Brother Colman- a guidance teacher - was appointed to the staff, to join Sr Una Collins who was there already. The staff of the VEC school was transferred to the new community school.

Meantime the plans for the new community school were forging ahead. The Department of Education favoured a model which could be replicated elsewhere. The architect had instructions to design a model which could be widely used and thus obviate excessive design costs. In retrospect it would be said that the design suffered from many short- comings which later resulted in ongoing expensive repair work

There are some facts about the Tallaght community school which are not well known. When it was built it was intended to be a junior post primary school for 1000 pupils. There was to be a senior school for 500 pupils on the same campus. In fact most of the furniture supplied to the school at the beginning, such as desks and chairs, were meant for smaller students. However the public debate pursued in the 70s on school size eventually veered away from the idea of the large impersonal school of 1500, and finally 700-900 became the normal maximum size for Departmental approval.

Simultaneously the Board of Management was set up. It comprised representatives of the two religious orders, the VEC and elected parents. Some debate followed on the method by which religious sought and obtained continuity posts in the school, but these issues were eventually resolved when it was better understood that religious could only serve if they had a viable community of members in their Tallaght houses. This device also had the advantage that it re-assured parents that the educational traditions of religious orders would be continued in the new school set-up.