Bluebell has changed a lot over the years.
Until 1953 Bluebell was mainly a rural farming community on the edge of the City. 1953 saw a new beginning when young couples moved into the new corporation housing estate full of hopes and dreams for the future. They had little or nothing, but they were all in it together. They became the foundation stones and the pillars of the parish of Bluebell.
The parish of Bluebell was established in 1967. At that time, what we now know as the John F Kennedy Industrial estate was zoned for houses. However before the houses were built, the land was rezoned and used for warehouses. This meant that from day one, our church was always too big for the needs of the community.
Over the years, dairy farming has had to give way to industrial development with the coming first of all, of the paper mills, making use of the Camac river for their water supply. Gradually more industry moved into the area like Lambs, Roadstone, Nugget, McInerneys, Fiat and Volkswagen, which provided jobs for many people locally. However in the past twenty years we have been swamped by an industrial revolution on our doorstep as whole areas like Fox & Geese, Robinhood, Knockmitten and Red Cow have been taken over by factories and warehouses of one sort or another.
The first priests in the parish were Frs. Hayes, Granville, Hickey and Kearney. The Oblates came to the parish in 1972 and have been here ever since. They were joined by the Daughters of Charity sisters for a few years and by the Holy Faith sisters for the past 10 years.
In the early 70s some people came together to form the ABC, the association of Bluebell communities, which brought together for the first time the people from the Naas Rd., Camac Pk. Old Bluebell and the newer Corporation housing estate. They later went on to build the Community Centre with the help of the Jesuit building volunteers and voluntary local labour. This is remembered as a time when the community really came to life. In the past few months, thanks to the hard work and perseverance of some local people, we have received news that this building is to be replaced with a new purpose built Sports Hall and Youth Centre. Work is due to begin on this in the near future.
In looking back perhaps what people in Bluebell are most proud of is their families. It gives parents great satisfaction to be able to look back at a job well done when they look at their children and their children’s children. Many of these children have now moved on to other parishes, bringing with them the values they learned and experienced here in Bluebell. The hard work and sacrifices of the past have borne fruit in new life.
We live in a time of huge change. Many of our friends and neighbours have died on the journey. New people have brought new life to the area.
In some families children are now called to care for their parents, in return for the way parents once cared for them. Despite the constant changes and against all the odds there is still a very deep sense of community here in Bluebell, which often carries people through the most difficult times of life. The people of Bluebell continue to keep the flame of faith alive in the community.