About the Centre
Tarbert Education Support Centre is a part-time centre which strives for excellence in the provision of Continuous Professional Development to enhance teaching, learning and leadership. Tarbert ESC is committed to facilitating workshops and courses in response to local needs and national priorities. We welcome proposals from teachers near and far on how we can best serve our teaching community’s educational needs.
Tarbert ESC is based in The Tarbert Comprehensive School. We are extremely grateful to The Comprehensive School for all their help, generosity and support throughout the years. The school provides a wonderful venue for our annual summer courses.
Tarbert Comprehensive School is situated on the coast road about a quarter of a mile west of the village of Tarbert in North Kerry. The twelve acre elevation site overlooks the centre’s catchment area to the west, east and south and its back is to the Shannon Estuary.
Tarbert Comprehensive School was established in 1973. It was a merger of three local existing schools in the area – St. Ita’s in Tarbert, Mr. Dore’s in Glin and The Glin Vocational School. The first Principal was Mr. Tom McKeown (R.I.P.) who co-incidentally was also the first Director of Tarbert Teachers Centre (as it was known then).
Tarbert Education Centre came into existence in 1976 following a meeting of teachers from North Kerry and West Limerick. Tom McKeown was elected part-time director with the late Brendan Scannell, Principal of Tarbert N.S. as chairperson.
In the early days, the centre focused on establishing subject groups, demonstrations and workshops on P.E., Art and Craft, Audio-Visual Aids (using duplicators, projectors, scanners, copiers etc.), The Department of Education’s grant to the centre in 1977 was £1000, the director’s honorarium was £385. The centre began to build up a resource of library of slides, filmstrips which later changed to videos and c.d.’s. The centre received great support in the early years from Department of Education Inspectors Eammon Foran and Dermot Chadwick.
In 1979, James Kenny was elected director and served until 1983 when Marie O’Callaghan took over as director. In 1981, James Kenny organised the first summer course for primary teachers and the centre has continued to run these courses.
In 1985, Dick Boyce was elected director and remained director until after the new millennium. At the 2000 Summer Course, the centre planted an oak tree for the new millennium. Following this, directors included Gabriel Fitzmaurice, Catherine Ferris and AnnMarie Leonard. In 2023, Sinéad O’Sullivan was appointed as director.
From the beginning, the Centre has been overseen by a Management Committee. Throughout the years, members have given up their time to sit on this committee, exchange ideas and help out at courses in every way possible. Committee members continue to play a vital role in the success of Tarbert Education Support Centre.
Gabhaimis buíochas leo - ar scáth a chéile a mhaireann na daoine.