The History of the parish
Beginning is the word, it seems to me, which best sums up the parish of St Aengus in the Seventies. It was in 1972 that the Archbishop of Dublin invited the Dominicans to accept responsibility for the parish of Tallaght .
Straight away for administrative purposes the parish was divided into four, Tallaght Village (now St Mary’s) Old Bawn (St Martin’s), Dodder (St Dominic’s) and Tymon North (St Aengus’).
The priests of the parish at first all lived in the priory, but after eighteen months they began to move to the areas in which they worked.. On the 24th April 1974, Frs. Pat Lucey, Ben Moran, and Brian O’Neill, moved into a house on the Balrothery Estate.
Building is the next word that comes to mind. Community building – most families were young and were starting families. The schools and the Church saw the light of day at that time also. Tallaght Community School (the first in the country) had been built in 1973, and was followed by the Primary Schools in the mid and late Seventies and the church was opened on the 14th December 1975.
Another important ingredient in the life of the parish was the arrival and the involvement of the parish Sisters, the communities of the Sacred Heart of Mary, and the Daughters of Mary and Joseph.
Growing or developing are the words which describe the life of the parish in the eighties. A Large number of Community growth organisations and clubs were formed at that time – there were Residents Associations, Sports Clubs, Bands, Scouts, Senior Citizen Clubs, the ICA, Bingo, Prayer and Bible Groups, Playgroups, Ministers of the Word and Eucharist, on could go on.
All of these helped in the Growth and Development of the parish. In 1985 the inevitable happened – the parish of St Aengus was formally constituted. What had been a unit within a unit for thirteen years now took on a life of its own. Fr Ben Moran was the first Parish Priest, whereas before that there were only ever Curates in Charge.
It is not easy to get an appropriate word for the Nineties. Try one yourself! Perhaps it was the decade during which the parish became settled, most families became nappy free and the Celtic Tiger may have provided a car or even a second car to some of them.
The number of Baptisms lessened, the days of 500 children per primary school were gone, and now quite a number of the Seventies children are married or thinking about getting married.
But there are also new families in the parish and ideally they will benefit from having “settled families” to give them support in their growing up.
Towards the end of the decade even the church building began to look a little tired and it was in 1998 that it underwent refurbishment and redecoration.
In issue no 44 of the parish (December 2000) Fr Pat remembers the day the Church opened
The Church of St Aengus was officially dedicated and Blessed by Archbishop Dermot Ryan on Sunday 14th December 1975. It was a day that many of the present day parishioners remember and it will certainly always be remembered by Fr Ben and me. Co-incidentally we were both ministering in the parish at that time also.
The day itself was a gloomy December winter’s day, it hardly got bright all day. But I can nearly still see my own late mother bringing up the gifts at the offertory of the mass.
During the last twenty five years the church has played a central role in the life of our parish community. It was in it that hundreds indeed thousands of babies were baptised and introduced to the Christian community. Looking back to the first page of the register of Baptisms, I note that four boys and one girl were christened six days after the church was opened. Where are they now: Raymond Dunne, Niamh Coates, James Waldron, Niall O’Meara and Karl Marquardt?
Similarly the church was where the boys and girls of the parish made their First Holy Communion, and went “Faoi Lamh an Easpaig” which is the irish way of saying that they made their confirmation.
The church was also the happy venue where many young couples formally and sacramentally vowed their love for each other in marriage.
And of course there were the funerals - a time of great sadness and upset for families who had lost a loved one. At such a time the prayers of the community in the church was a great consolation