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New book celebrates rich traditions that make up Dublin City University

A commemorative book which celebrates the rich traditions that make up Dublin City University has been launched. ‘DCU: A new beginning’ captures the Incorporation Programme through illustrated histories of the institutions involved.

David Meehan, Rev Prof Anne Lodge, Martin Leavey, Prof Brian MacCraith, Dr Joseph Rivera and Dr Jonathan Cherry with the new book on DCU.
David Meehan, Rev Prof Anne Lodge, Martin Leavey, Prof Brian MacCraith, Dr Joseph Rivera and Dr Jonathan Cherry with the new book on DCU.

The book looks back at the long and distinct histories of four institutions - the Church of Ireland College of Education, St Patrick’s College, Mater Dei Institute of Education and DCU - brought together through the Incorporation Programme to create the largest critical mass of education expertise in Ireland.

The idea for the book was conceived shortly before the completion of the Incorporation process in a series of meetings held under the auspices of the Incorporation Project Heritage Committee.

Authors, who were all members of that committee, include: the Revd Professor Anne Lodge, Director of the Church of Ireland Centre, DCU; Dr Jonathan Cherry, Assistant Professor in DCU’s School of History and Geography; David Meehan, Associate Director of Special Collections and Archives at DCU Library; Dr Joseph Rivera, Assistant Professor in the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music; Martin Leavy, Head of Learning and Development, Human Resources Department.

On behalf of the authors, David Meehan said their aim was to produce something visually striking, but with enough detailed text to engage readers with a real sense of the history of the four institutions, all which have strong educational and cultural roots going back to at least the mid-19th century.

“The book drew on the experience of authors of long standing, and on substantial institutional publications. We used original archival documents and images from the Archdiocese of Dublin, the Church of Ireland College of Education, Mater Dei Institute of Education and St Patrick's College Drumcondra, much of which now reside in the O'Reilly Library on DCU’s Glasnevin campus. The book also features extensive original photography commissioned specifically for the project, which shows the architectural heritage of the four original campuses in a fresh light,” he said.

Professor Brian MacCraith, DCU President, welcomed the publication of the book. “This book illustrates the tireless work of Ireland’s educational pioneers, and the progress that has been made, despite the many challenges they faced. The one constant has been a dedication to education, innovation and discovery, and a commitment to the wellbeing of our nation’s young people and the development of their talent,” he commented.

Ahead of the launch, Dr Harold Hislop, Chief Inspector with the Department of Education and Skills, commended all of those involved. “The coming together of these institutions and the educational expertise which was assembled as a consequence of the Incorporation Programme provided a firm foundation for the development of an outstanding centre of excellence in Education at DCU. I was delighted to read about the rich and varied history of the four institutions,” he said.

He added: “The quality photographs and illustrations serve to provide the reader with a wonderful visual insight into the world of teacher education in Ireland from the early 1800 to the present day. I commend you and the team in DCU for the success of the incorporation programme and wish you well in the future as you continue to build upon the strong reputation of the university as a provider of quality educational experiences, innovation and research.”

A soft copy of the book is available now to read online here.

Hard copies of the book will be available from three locations from September: Albert College reception in DCU’s Glasnevin Campus, the School of History and Geography (contact jonathan.cherry@dcu.ie), St Patrick’s College and The Church of Ireland Centre, All Hallows Campus.