The steady growth of Tallaght in the 1960s led to its separation from the parish of Rathfarnham to which it had belonged for centuries. In 1969 Tallaght was incorporated into the newly created parish of Bohernabreena-Firhouse. But in September 1972 archbishop Dr Dermot Ryan entrusted Dominicans with the care of the Parish of St. Mary’s Tallaght. Initially this included all of Central Tallaght and Kilnamanagh before the latter became a separate parish in 1974.
St. Mary’s comprised four administrative districts and so three new churches were built: St Dominic’s in Millbrook (1975), St. Aengus’ in Tymon North (1975) and St. Martin’s in Old Bawn (1976), each with a small residential unit for its own Dominican team. Finally, St. Mary’s and its three daughter churches were divided into four parishes in 1985. St. Martin’s parish was returned to the care of the diocesan clergy in 1999.
Now, more than forty years later, St. Mary’s Church and Dominican Priory has been the hub of a small parish with a sizeable congregation. While prayer, sacramental life, preaching and Pastoral Care are still central to the life of the Parish Community, a number of other apostolic and social initiatives have been developed; e.g. St. Vincent de Paul Society whose two distinct branches provide help to the poor; St Catherine’s Counselling Service; The Rollebon Press which prints and distributes parish Mass-leaflets and catechetical material used all over the country; a Publishing House which issues Alive – a free monthly newspaper; The Priory Institute – Dominican centre for theological distance learning; The Retreat House; The Priory Choir and others
St. Mary’s Parish consists now (2014) of approximately 900 houses and 2,500 apartments. Within its boundaries there are Tallaght Hospital, St Mary’s National School, IT Tallaght, the Square Shopping Centre including the Oratory, 3 Hotels, South County Dublin Headquarters, The Civic Theatre, Library and Terminus to the Luas Red Line