TCS - the early years

TCS - the early years - Page 4

The first of these took place in Ardee, a significant choice, since it was in the Diocese of Cardinal Conway. It is interesting to note that the leader of that trio of public servants was the late Paddy Moloney the father of Declan who is now Deputy Principal of this school. In a comment after one of these meetings Paddy Moloney said "The Department was told on the one hand that it had given too much, and, on the other hand, that it had given too little ". On July 30th 1971 the Department announced the intention to establish two community schools, one in Blanchardstown, and one in Tallaght. The decision was taken, and that was the end of all the problems!!

Now came the reaction of the local community who, with justification, felt that they were not consulted on this most important provision for the new community which was growing fast, and in which the residents felt that their wishes and their needs did not count in any plans. Up to this time the history of the development of Tallaght was one of broken promises; residents wishes ignored, and a neglect that was unforgivable. There was an ever-increasing population who had been moved from close-knit communities to an area that had none of the facilities that make family life possible.

Now they saw a new type of school being imposed on them; a school which was already controversial, and which would replace a school that was held in great affection by parents and pupils. The Principal and staff were not given any guarantee that their jobs would be secure, in fact it was indicated that they would have to apply for posts in the new school A case study by Pacelli O! Rourke in 1994 gives a good account of the details of the controversy. I will add that the reverberations of this left a legacy of suspicion that made life difficult for the Board of Management and the administration for a number of years.

In the midst of all this the Board of Management was formed in early summer 1972, and proceeded to appoint a Principal and the staff for the coming year .The composition of the Board had been the subject of some controversy, but it was composed of one member each of the Holy Faith Sisters and the Marist Brothers, two representatives of Co. Dublin V.E.C. and two parents who were selected in the first instance .At a later stage two teachers were elected to the Board which was a welcome support to me .I was notified that I was being offered the Principalship which was quite a shock to me. It took me some time to decide to accept, and when I met the Board for the first time the main concern was the selection of staff for the coming year .8 of the teachers in the Vocational school, St. Macerates, had opted to join the staff and they were appointed without interview, as were 4 members of the two religious orders who were on the Board. This latter arrangement caused controversy in the early days, but it did not present any major problem.