Sunday 19 November 2017

Prep school bailed out by singer de Burgh goes into liquidation

Past pupils of Aravon School in Rathmichael, Co Dublin, include Chris de Burgh and his daughter, Rosanna Davison
Past pupils of Aravon School in Rathmichael, Co Dublin, include Chris de Burgh and his daughter, Rosanna Davison
Louise Hogan

Louise Hogan

A PRESTIGIOUS private preparatory school once bailed out by singer Chris de Burgh has run into financial difficulties with a liquidator appointed.

Past alumni of Aravon School, situated on a 15-acre site in picturesque Rathmichael, south Dublin, include de Burgh himself and his daughter and former Miss World, Rosanna Davison.

A liquidator has been appointed to the private school, following a creditor's meeting in recent days.

A drop-off in enrolments resulted in the school's turnover falling from €1.28m in 2010 to €1.1m last year, according to the latest accounts filed for the school.

The school has around 80 pupils enrolled, varying in age from three to 12. It receives no state funding and is run as an independent and co-educational school.

Benefactor de Burgh previously revealed that he purchased the school in 1993 after it got into financial difficulties.

He told how he wrote off a million pounds in debt and gave them a long, rent-free lease. He also built an extra Nordic-style, seven-classroom building to allow them to take in more pupils.

Just last May, principal Kevin Allwright insisted that the private primary school would remain open.


School located on picturesque 15-acre site



And he has spoken of the financial challenges the school had faced over the past five years like many businesses.

However, Mr Allwright was unavailable for further comment last night.

The school has described the operating environment as "challenging" and "margins continue to be tight" in the last available accounts filed up to June 30, 2011.

It recorded a €179,724 deficit for the year and the school's net funds dropped from €183,757 in 2010 to €28,946 in 2011.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Education said the State does not provide funding to private primary schools.

The school had originally been founded in the heart of Bray in 1862 by Thomas Courtney.

It was later moved to the Victorian-style building, with towers, on Ferndale Road, outside of Bray town.

Irish Independent

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