Blackrock College seeking to appoint new principal

Blackrock College in Dublin is seeking to appoint a new principal in the new year.

n advertisement for the role was placed on UK news website The Guardian three days ago.

The fee-paying school, which is under the control of the Spiritan congregation, has this year been at the centre of an abuse scandal after former students came forward with allegations of sexual abuse from their time at Blackrock.

It followed a radio documentary on RTÉ in which two brothers detailed the sexual abuse they suffered on the grounds of Blackrock in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

David and Mark Ryan became the first former pupils to speak publicly about their horrifying experience at the hands of a Spiritan priest, Fr Tom O’Byrne.

Since the Blackrock Boys documentary aired on November 6, dozens more have come forward with allegations of historic abuse.

The number of people who have come forward alleging abuse at schools run by the Spiritans, formerly known as the Holy Ghost Order, initially stood at 233 but the order has since confirmed it has now risen above 300.

In a letter to parents, the principals of Blackrock College, Willow Park first year school and the Willow Park junior school said that “great harm has been done to many pupils over an extended period”.

“A school must, first and foremost, be a place of complete safety for children of all ages. That this most fundamental tenet was breached by members of the staff in both Blackrock and Willow is something we, as an institution, must acknowledge,” the letter added.

The advert for the role says the successful candidate will report to the chairperson of the board of management and “be fully committed to the active leadership of the spiritual life and Spiritan ethos of the College”.

“You will promote a culture of high expectations and high standards,” it states.

“You will be an excellent team leader who will develop and lead teams to deliver ongoing improvement, collaboration, innovation and creativity in learning, teaching, and assessment.

“You will join a dynamic, evolving organisation, with a highly committed and excellent teaching staff and will enjoy significant active support from all stakeholders who share a passion for the College, including students, past and present, parents, past and present, the Spiritan Congregation and the Patron Body, the Spiritan Education Trust.”

The school’s current principal Alan MacGinty, who is a former Blackrock student, has held the role for 22 years. has contacted Blackrock for comment.


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