BLACKROCK COLLEGE PARENTS ASSOCIATION
Why is the Parents Association important?
The problems we face in today’s society can seem
daunting- increase in the availability of drugs,
higher consumption of alcohol, increasing
increase in violence on our streets, an obsession
with celebrity culture and the pressures some
parents are under doesn’t help: financial worries,
longer working hours and long commuting times,
stress in relationships, competition and
uncertainty about the future.
Even when we are working hard at the job of
parenting it can sometimes be difficult to find
the right balance.
Too much attention can smother a child’s
development and prevent him from establishing an
Too little and he will be insecure
Parents cannot raise children in isolation and no
school should be asked nor should it take on the
role of life formation on its own. It is a complex
role involving personality, attitudes, ability,
luck, parents, families, neighbours, teachers,
peers and community.
This is why we need and look for the association
of other parents. It can provide a wonderful
support system to help us all navigate the
challenges of our sons’ passage through
In these days of online friendships and virtual
reality it is all the more reason to build a
strong partnership between school and home.
I believe that parents need to be secure that we
still have a very powerful influence over our
children’s lives. Even in these days when there
are so many other forces competing with us for
their attention. Parents need to be aware of their
children’s growth and development and give them a
strong sense of security in this time of great
social change. Parents need to be able to champion
their children…. They need to be assured that they
have our love and support no matter what---
through whatever difficulties or trouble they
encounter or stresses they may face.
This does not mean that we condone misbehaviour,
breaking rules or low standards----But it does
mean that we stand by them as they face the
consequences of their actions, help them find a
way through challenges, make amends and learn from
I have no doubt that we are all trying to be
better parents, we hope to learn, to contribute to
be reassured that whatever the challenges we face
not in surmountable… we are not alone in this
So how do we give tangible support to these ideals
and implement our values and aims in our daily
lives and in planning for our work as a Parents’
The Parents’ Association provides opportunities
for parents to meet and discuss their concerns.
Monthly lunches, annual year dinners, Family
Masses, talks….. all afford parents occasions to
meet the parents of their sons’ friends.
We produce a Newletter at Christmas and end of
summer term to keep parents informed of our
activities and air opinion on different subjects.
We would very much like to hear your view and how
we can keep these Newsletters relevant.
Maybe you would like to submit a short article on
a subject, about which you feel strongly?
Some of the other initiatives, which we have
1. Established a Parents section in the
library: books on child development, parenting,
education, drugs, and nutrition available free to
2. Examining career opportunities in Science,
Technology and IT. We have two reports, which will
be of interest to parents and pupils.
(1) What do UCD Science Graduates do and
(2) What Do UCD Engineering Graduates Do?
Both of these are available in the Parents’
Section in the
3. A group of parents are working with school
management on an IT advisory committee to help
guide the College on maximising the great new
facilities and allowing our children to use the
best available tools in furthering their
4. We have established a sub-committee on
under-age Drinking and Alcohol Abuse.
5. Grinds: are they worth it? an ESRI report,
available in Parents’ Section in College Library.
6. Preparations for the 150th anniversary of
the founding of the College. The Community and
College are planning a series of celebrations and
we will keep you informed as plans are finalised.
7. Parents input into the School Development
8. Parenting Course: see separate section
In conclusion I would like to warmly thank Mr.
Alan MacGinty for his continuing support, interest
and energy. I would like to thank all of the Deans
and teaching staff as well as the administrative,
catering and security staff who accommodate our
many requests with good humour and efficiency.
Thank you to all parents who serve on committees,
organise events, participate
in fundraising and generally support the work of
the Parents’ Association throughout the year.
The Parents’ Association belongs to all of us….