ONE OF the country’s most prestigious boarding schools is to take day pupils for the first time.
Glenstal Abbey in Murroe, Co Limerick, has confirmed that day students are to be accepted in the school from this September.
At the moment the Benedictine -run school is one of the last three full-time boarding schools for boys remaining in the country, along with Roscrea and Clongowes.
Br Martin Browne, principal of the school run by Benedictine monks, said the cost for a day pupil would be a bit below €10,000.
“They will stay for games, study and supper after school and go home about 7pm in the evening so they would have most of the same experiences as the regular seven-day boarders. That’s why we are calling it day boarders and not day students,” said Br Browne.
However, he said that “the move is not in response to falling numbers due to the recession”.
By making the decision to accept day boarders they hope to make it possible for a wider group of people to attend than previously.
Glenstal was second in last year’s Sunday Times list of the top 400 schools in the country and its fees for a boarder are €15,100 per annum.
It was also one of the top feeder schools to high points courses and to UCD and TCD last year.
The secondary school for boys opened in Barrington castle in September 1932 with just seven pupils. It now caters for 200.
The castle was built for the Barrington family in the 1830s, who sold the property during the War of Independence.
As the school grew, it expanded beyond Barrington castle and now has modern dormitories and refectories, a large sports hall and computing facilities.
It is on an estate of about 500 acres which contains farmland, forestry, games fields, lakes and gardens as well as the school and monastery buildings.