The Carmelites and Terenure College

The Carmelites, Terenure College and 1967

There are two branches of Carmelite priest in Ireland. Firstly, the Order of Carmelites Discalced (OCD), and secondly, the one which shall be looked at in more detail The Order of The Carmelites (O.Carm). This organisation has churches in Whitefrair Street Church, Knocklyon parish and Terenure College. Sometimes this group can be called the, Ancient Observance’ because it did not incorporate all of the reforms from of |Teresa or John, unlike the OCD[13].

Terenure College was founded in 1860 by Fr Thomas Bennett who was the Carmelite Provincial at the time. At the time all that was bought was the extensive land as discussed previously, and Terenure House. This was purchased with one goal, education[14].

On January 10th 1860 Terenure College opened its doors as a secondary school. Although there are many students attending today it began with a modest twenty-one students in first year. Initially Terenure College began as a boarding school for these pupils and many others until 1971. By 1970 Terenure was up to 52 boarders and 18 day pupils. This was beginning to get to much and so the school ceased being a boarding school and began to renovate instead.[15].

As the school became more popular and a bigger part of the community it began to add new buildings to help keep up with demand. The first addition to the College was in 1878 in which they built a new building which runs from the old house to where the modern computer rooms are today.

When the school ceased being a boarding school they turned the top two floors where the students slept into the sixth and fifth year corridors. These also still remain today. In 1894 another extension was added. This included the no ‘Old Library’ to the science rooms. In 1946 the Concert Hall and Junior School were added. The Concert Hall doubled as a gymnasium for the school, giving much needed indoor space for activities.[16]

Students in the gymnasium 1974 [4]
The next upgrade for the college was the current Community house which included a canteen, meeting rooms and the College Chapel. This was completed in 1958. In the 1980’s the classrooms were replaced with the current versions in the first to fourth year corridors. As well as this the gymnasium and changing rooms were built. Finally, in 2001 the New Wing, which still maintains its name to this day was added with more classrooms and facilities to help improve the school life of the children attending.[16]

Initially all teachers in Terenure were Carmelites. Due to the higher demand for education in the area the school were forced to bring in more and more lay teachers. Although the Carmelites teaching at the school began to be diluted, the lay teachers added more to the school from an education standpoint. More diversity in subjects lead to a more well-rounded and holistic education from the standpoint of the pupils. This would further add to the need for more facilities and teachers which can be seen above was met quite regularly with extensions and new buildings being made when required.

Having the increased number of teachers at the school also meant that Terenure College had more ability to participate in extracurricular activities. This was seen from the beginning as a way of bringing the community closer according to a current Carmelite that was interviewed. [17] The college was one of the first to join the G.A.A. around 1884. Its main sport however, came later in which it forged its own tradition; the Leinster senior and junior cup. Terenure college joined this in 1944 and still have a record of the first team and first captain for these teams. This was a calling to the wider community and has been ever since. Once a year it allows the residences of the area come together to the school and support the teams wherever they play. This is what the college has tried to do since its inception. By becoming a place that is welcoming for all and being as inclusive as it can be it strives to be at the heart of the community and it is through its expanding school, growing pupil rates historically and thriving extracurricular activities that these aims are met