History of St. MacDara’s Community College


The campaign for a second-level school in St. Jude’s Parish, Willington, was led by Rev.Fr. Boland, P.P. in the early 1980s.  The Community College, a new concept at that time, involving the County Dublin V.E.C. and the Catholic Archdiocese of Dublin, was the model selected.  Consequently, the Board of Management included representatives of the Archdiocese and of the V.E.C., teaching staff and parents.  The Marist Order was nominated by the Archdiocese to sit on the Board.   A local site, formerly a stud farm onWellington Lane, was chosen  and the new school building was completed in advance of the opening of the new academic year in September 1982.

First Board of Management (1982- 1985)

Parents’ Representatives:  Ms. Christine Hussey(Chairperson) and Mr. Frank Maguire

Co.DublinV.E.C. Representatives:  Deputy Seán Walsh, Deputy Larry McMahon and  Councillor Séamus Ashe.

Archdiocesan Representatives:  Rev. Fr. James O’ Connell, S.M., Sr. Mary Patrick Kiernan, S.M. and Sr. Breege Brennan, S.M. .

Staff Representatives:  Ms. Anne Peakin, Ms. Sheila Canny

FirstCollegeStaff Members:  Mr. S. McPhillips(Principal), Mr. J. O’ Shea (Vice Principal), Rev. Fr. J. Carr, S.M. (Chaplain) and teaching staff  Ms. S. Canny, Ms. U. Clarke, Ms. M. Levey, Ms. E. Healy, Ms. B. Noonan, Mr. J. O’Reilly, M. A. Peakin and Mr. S. Ryan


College Patron

St.MacDara was reputed to have been a pupil of St. Maelruain of Tallaght when he was sent to establish a foundation at Baile Mhotháin(Tymon).  It is said that his priestly vocation came under “threat” from the wild women of the tribe of Motháin.  Consequently, he fled to an island off Carna.  The island named after him still has his restored church which features on the college crest.   His feast day is July 16th when his traditional pattern day is observed.   Over the years there have been visits to his island by students and staff of the school.


College Crest

This crest was designed by artist Mr. Jimmy Burns, a former teacher in Ballinteer C.S..  The design incorporates , the acorn of knowledge and St. MacDara’s Church.  The motto of “Ar Aghaidh” was the same used by Owen Roe O’ Neill at the Battle of Benburb(Co. Tyrone) in 1646 when he defeated the Scottish Presbyterians.


Official Opening

The official opening of the college took place on Monday, May 7th, 1984.   The late John Boland, Minister for Local Government performed the opening ceremony.

St. Mac Dara’s has grown from an initial enrolment of 66 students to a student population of over 800.

“Ar Aghaidh”

The motto of St. Mac Dara’s signifies a desire always to look forward and meet the challenges of the future with confidence, in a spirit of teamwork shared by students, staff and parents