Welcome to the NEW Blackrock College Union community website which is one of the primary channels of communication with our members. We would encourage you to re-register on the new website to help keep you in contact with other past students and inform you of events, support groups and projects the union and college are currently undertaking.
The Blackrock College Union expresses its deepest sympathy and solidarity with all past pupils who were subject to abuse while attending the College. It is a matter of great sadness to the Union that such abuse was inflicted on pupils of the schools and we acknowledge that the matters raised in the media are profoundly upsetting and life changing for the victims of such abhorrent abuse. The Union deeply regrets that pupils in the College and Willow Park were not protected from this abuse and we encourage anyone who has been affected by such abuse to seek the appropriate advice and assistance.The media coverage has referred to a statement which has been carried on our website which encourages any past pupil affected by abuse to seek supports and which is repeated below.
"Inclusion and engagement are two strong themes that the Union focus on. As representatives of your Union we are conscious that the experiences of some of our past pupils while at school in Willow Park and Blackrock College may have been damaged by abuse by persons priest and lay, who were teachers during those important years. The Union wants you to know that if you have been affected by such experiences there are practical and moral supports available on a confidential basis by contacting the Union at firstname.lastname@example.org"
We would encourage any pupil who is an abuse victim to come forward and begin the process of healing with the full support of all your peers.
Additionally, we would direct you to the following links that may provide you with alternatives should you wish to avail of them.
Tim Chapman Restorative Justice Process: Email: email@example.com
One In Four: One in Four supports people who have experienced sexual violence during childhood. http://oneinfour.ie/ 01 662 4070
Spiritan Order: https://spiritan.ie/safeguarding/ Spiritan Safeguarding Office. Liam Lally (0868312987) Liam.firstname.lastname@example.org
National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church in Ireland (NBSCCCI): www.safeguarding.ie 00 353 (0)1 5053124
Local Garda Station: http://www.garda.ie/Stations/Default.aspx
Tusla: The Child and Family Agency https://www.tusla.ie/services/
Northern Ireland Contact your local Police Station: www.psni.police.uk Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety (DHSSPS) www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/childprotection_guidance
We will add more as they are recommended to us.
Welcome from David Gillett
It is a great honour and privilege for me to be serve as President of our Union in this its 124th year.
Our Union continues to grow, and we now have over 8,000 members in 31 countries worldwide and more than 3,000 of those are registered online.
Over the last number of years, Union members have endured many difficulties arising from Covid, and most recently serious and heartbreaking disclosure of abuse while attending Willow Park or Blackrock College. We will continue to support past pupils where we can and should.
Many of our events were cancelled both during Covid 19 pandemic, and last year in solidarity with our fellow past pupils, and we now hope to be able to run our full schedule of events in 2023/24. First up, in November we will see the return of the Business Lunch to the O’Reilly Hall in UCD. It has been 4 years since our last one, and from feedback everyone is excited about the return of this our largest event for past pupils of all ages.
The new academic year has already seen meaningful change in the college, with the appointment of a new Principal Yvonne Markey and I am sure you will join me in congratulating her and offering her our best wishes in her new role. My committee and I have already committed our full support to her and colleagues in the college for the future. This is also now an opportunity for the me to reach out to those past pupils who may have an interest in joining the Union Committee, in some capacity, to assist and enhance the work of the Union in supporting our fellow past pupils and the college.
Through Union and Junior Committees, we will continue to reach out to as many members as possible supported by our class ambassadors, our reunions, retreats, business mentoring and golf events to name but a few.
Our Class Ambassador program is a great way to keep in touch with your class group who should be updating you on events and programs arranged by the Union.
The great work carried out by our charities the Blue and White Support Group, The Mission Fund and Saint Vincent De Paul, continues and they will receive our financial and expert support throughout the year.
Blue and White offers support and assistance to fellow past pupils who are experiencing very challenging times, and the Mission fund helps those less fortunate in developing parts of Africa through funding of welfare and education and indeed echoes the ethos of our Holy Ghost founders. The funds to support our charities are raised at our events throughout the year and through online and physical donations to the Union. We thank all those involved in these charities for their efforts and time.
Finally, with our new website, event bookings are made even easier, and I would encourage members to check in on a regular basis for updates.
I look forward to meeting many of you during my term as President of the Union.
Fides et Robur
David Gillett (Class of 1987)
Membership of the union is free of charge to all members. However, even as a voluntary organisation, the union does incur expenditure to cover administration and to support events such as the Blackrock College Business Lunch, the Annual Dinner, the various reunions, networking events and other charitable support activities.
We would therefore appreciate any donations, no matter the amount as they will all go a long way to ensuring that all of this work continues.
We would also like to take the opportunity to thank those members who have donated in the past. With your ongoing support, we will continue to provide the best possible services to our membership.