The Branch was founded in 1964, shortly after the establishment of the national Association. Officers in the early years included Fr. Brendan Steen (who was the Hon. Treasurer for fifty years!), Sr. Delia Gallagher, Victor Bond, John Forde and Br. Sean Coffey.
The Branch's year quickly developed a pattern that can still be seen today. Meetings were held most months in term time, for some years generally on the third Thursday of the month ("if it's the third Thursday, there must be an IMTA meeting"), though more recently the dates have been chosen chiefly with regard to fitting in with, or avoiding clashes with, other school activities. The usual location in the early years was UCD (Earlsfort Terrace); nowadays, most meetings are held in the Education Centres in Drumcondra and Blackrock. The year often starts with "post-mortems" on the Certificate examinations, and ends with a special lecture and the Branch AGM. Intervening meetings cover a wide range of topics, typically dealing with content, methodology and resources for mathematics teaching.
Events for students, as well as for teachers, have figured prominently in the Branch's agenda. In the early 1970s, during the chairmanship of Victor Bond, seminars were held at which a panel of teachers and lecturers answered questions sent in by school students, with students and their teachers forming the audience. The questions revealed the students' insights into the curriculum developments of the time, when "modern mathematics" was still new on the scene. Starting in the 1980s, the Branch organised revision seminars for the Leaving Certificate in Trinity College, in cooperation with the TCD School of Mathematics; originally the brain-child of Mary Johnston, the seminars were later run largely by George Humphrey and his team. Teachers with a special facility for giving a clear overview of a topic to some 400 students - not a trivial task! - were called on to address various topics on the Higher Leaving Certificate syllabus. From the 1990s, the Branch has participated enthusiastically in the Team Math quiz, and it was Dublin Branch members Peter Tiernan and Paul Nugent who were instrumental in arranging for the first national final for the quiz, held in Trinity in 2005.
The Branch, via its members or its committee members, has also contributed to national discussions on mathematics education. Documents have been compiled and sent either directly to relevant bodies (for example, the Teaching Council, with regard to their consultation on teacher qualifications in the session 2011-2012) or via the IMTA Council (for example, as part of an IMTA response to Project Maths in the session 2012-2013).
We celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of our foundation at our AGM in May 2014. The photograph above shows Con O'Keefe, former Inspector, with Elizabeth Oldham (then the branch Chair) and original members Fr. Steen (RIP - he died in November 2015) and Elizabeth Caird, at the cutting of the celebratory cake - a big Pi, shown in the Picture Gallery in the record of the occasion. Our fiftieth session (2014-2015) was marked most notably by our Jubilee project, providing teaching/learning materials for schools.