Sunday, June 4, 2017

Templeogue Telegraph: Neighbourhood Community Magazine

This note might be of interest to both senior residents of Templeogue and newly-arrived residents to in that area.  The target area for our soon-to-be-resurrected Templeogue Telegraph newsletter will be, as before, to serve residents living  between our two rivers, the Dodder and the Poddle, and between the Dublin City boundary and the M50 motorway.   In olden times this area was a rural part of County Dublin, next became a suburb of the city of Dublin, and some decades ago came under a new local authority named South Dublin County Council.

In late 1969 the Templeogue Telegraph appeared as a newsletter set up as a project of the Templeogue Youth Club, under the presidency of the late resident Terry Gogan.  It operated from a room provided by the parish of St Pius X.  The early content comprised mainly news of the Youth Club’s activities, but on the demise of the Club the newsletter became a true community newspaper.

When, sadly,Terry Gogan died and the Youth Club was discontinued,  many community individuals and organisations readily agreed to keep the newsletter alive.  Here one must make special mention of community organisations like the Templeogue Parents’ Association and the Ladies’ Club for stepping in to keep the Telegraph alive.  During the 1970s, 80s and 90s the circulation reached upward of 1,000 copies.  The newsletter was personally delivered by a team of young people who received a modest percentage from the proceeds as a gratuity for their work.  The discontinuation of the Telegraph in 2005 was due, not so much to a lack of general interest in the local news, as to the gradual decline of energy on the part of the by-now-aging members of the production team, and to the difficulty of finding new teenagers for the door-to-door deliveries.

After that many requests arose from former customers and from researchers for copies of certain Telegraph articles,  and these enquiries were dealt with locally by referring the enquirers to the Central County Library in Tallaght which for a period kindly made available on their shelves bound copies of the newspaper. The material had been presented to the library by Roddy Kernan (late resident in Templeville Drive) in the form of his carefully preserved back numbers of the Telegraph.  This material was for a time on open display in the Tallaght library, but has recently been withdrawn from the shelves to make room for copies of the local Tallaght newspaper, The Echo.

There is, however, good news.  A local survey of Templeogue has revealed that there is still interest in the content of the Telegraph which for over five decades recorded our past history.   A group has accordingly been established with the object of seeking and reprinting former articles from the magazine.  This will bring to light again a period when Templeogue was a developing part of suburban Dublin, buzzing with activity.

Some daunting tasks are currently being undertaken, including assembling the tools for digitalising and putting t\he newspaper on-line, and compiling an index of past contents.  Once these preliminaries have been completed, much of the labour that was involved in producing the ‘old’ Telegraph in ‘hard copy’ will be eliminated.   The Telegraph will soon be available on-line and without charge.  Arrangements will be made on request for home deliveries to former senior citizens who do not have computers.

News of developments will be given will be given to former subscribers who wish to make contact by means of email addressed to:

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Birth of The Telegraph

Mr. Terry Gogan, Chairman of the Templeogue Youth Club Committee wrote in 1969:

IT IS WITH GREAT PLEASURE that I write these few words for this, the first issue of the "Templeogue Telegraph".

We have been looking for some time past for some of our members to be responsible for editing and producing a community news bulletin, and I would like to thank Joe Fortune and Jacinta Devlin for coming forward and wish them every success with this project and of course this goes also for the team whom they have gathered to aid them in this venture.

This team spirit is one of the important aspects that we are trying to develop in the youngsters who are members of the T.Y.C., and even though the history of the club is really quite short, there have been a number of very encouraging signs, mainly from the younger people of the area.  At this point I must put in a plea to interested adults to come forward and help us out with both their suggestions and some practical help.  We have not been successful in finding anybody to build or rent a suitable premises for the club, and we have having tried all sources - it may be that you adult people out there can help in this.

We are at present using the church Committee Room once a week by kind permission of the Parish Priest.  This is neither ideal nor even suitable in order to give the members that sense of responsibility and of belonging that is so necessary.

I mentioned team spirit earlier on - this also means Community spirit, in developing which we will be greatly aided through the "Templeogue Telegraph", as we hope to call our community news bulletin.  We appeal to associations, clubs and societies in the area to keep the Editor well informed about their projects and activities, so that we will be able to inform each and every person about what is happening, where it's happening and how they can join in.

There are a number of important other projects that I want to put before you for your consideration. Anyone who thinks they have other good ideas should let us know. Without your support nothing will be done.   The projects are:

Firstly to continue our efforts to form a Community Council.  We have already made a start on this.
Secondly to improve and develop the open spaces in the area, so that they may be both decorative and useful.

What other improvements can you suggest?   Let us not be a community in name only.  Let's become a community of ACTION!  Let's all develop team spirit!

(Above is a lightly edited version from THE TEMPLEOGUF TELEGRAPH, Voi. 1. NO. 1, 16th November 1969.  Sadly Terry died some years after the TYC was established.)