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Celebrating good working relationships

billtoner_01Bill Toner SJ was one of the guest speakers at a ceremony marking the 60th anniverary of the National College of Ireland. The college, formerly known as the Catholic Workers’ College and then the National College of Industrial Relations, was founded by the Jesuits and played an important role in the social history of Ireland from the 1950s onward. Shop stewards, union representatives and eventually management were taught and trained down the years by Jesuits and their lay colleagues. Bill Toner SJ recalled some hairy moments at fraught times, including typing up a just-agreed strike settlement deal between ESB workers and management and facilitated by the College. “It was 7.30 am and I had ’til 8am to get the agreement on paper and avoid another day of severe power cuts”.