Tuesday 20 February 2018

Enrolment drive sparks hopes for top school

Cistercian College Roscrea Photo: Sean Curtin
Cistercian College Roscrea Photo: Sean Curtin
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

An action group working to save one of Ireland's best performing boarding schools has been inundated with expressions of interest after a recruitment and funding drive.

Roscrea's Cistercian College was set to close in 2018 but more than €1.5m has been raised to secure its future.

The team behind the funding drive has also had more than 500 responses to a survey and positive feedback from parents of children in the Roscrea catchment area about enrolling their sons in Cistercian College next year.

In total, 69 families have said they would like to see their sons enrol in the school ahead of an open day on April 1. Ronnie Culliton of the Save Cistercian College Action Group said a plan was put forward to reverse a decision to close the school.

This includes accepting day boarders and five-day boarders. The school previously only accepted seven-day boarders.

Read more: Well-known boarding school to remain open after significant funds raised

"We have realistic targets in place in terms of holding on to the student base and then build on it in the coming years," said Mr Culliton.

"Cistercian College has always had a fantastic reputation academically. It also has a sporting tradition. I am a past pupil so I think it also has a history of producing some well-rounded people."

The boarding school - whose famous past pupils include former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, former Tanaiste Dick Spring and horse trainer Willie Mullins - has enjoyed academic and sporting success but school authorities had found it was no longer financially viable to keep the school open due to a decline in enrolments. However, the action group has been working closely with the Abbot, Dom Richard Purcell, to try and prevent the proposed closure.

Sunday Independent

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