The announcement by Our Lady's Bower, Athlone, Co Westmeath, that it was closing to boarders from September 2014 came as shock to Jane Tuohy and her family. Jane, from Ballintubber, Co Mayo, had spent four years there, with her younger sister, Clare, coming behind. A search began for an alternative school. "We looked at other schools, but Rathdown School stood out to us," said Jane.
At Rathdown in Glenageary, Co Dublin, Jane (17) would get her own bedroom and study area in a house specifically designed for senior girls. After years of sharing a dormitory with 13 others, Jane found the idea of single-room boarding very appealing.
Now in sixth year, her own space is a big advantage, but she will always treasure the memories of her Bower dorm alcove. "My life at the Bower shaped who I am. I loved it and never wanted to leave, but I've no regrets. I'm living a new chapter in Rathdown and couldn't be happier."