Largest roll call in Glenstal’s history as parents register interest for 2029

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

First female principal of Glenstal Abbey School, Carmel Honan and Fr William Fennelly, headmaster

First female principal of Glenstal Abbey School, Carmel Honan and Fr William Fennelly, headmaster

GLENSTAL Abbey School welcomed its largest ever number of pupils to Murroe this week – and even have parents registering their interest as far into the future as 2029.

Noelle O’Brien, director of admissions, said their numbers continue to rise.

“This year we will welcome 69 new students from first to fifth year. They are local, national and international - from San Francisco to Tokyo and in between!

“This brings the total roll to 255, up eight on last year. Our first year class is at capacity in both boarding and day boarding. Our boarding numbers remain strong,” said Noelle, who has had expressions of interest from parents for admission in years up to and including 2029 - basically not long after their child is born

“For a school like ours the decision for a parent to send their child here involves a longer period of discussion and discernment.

“Most schools in this country operate with a fixed catchment zone, however, the geographically diverse origins of our students whether within Ireland or from overseas means that the same criteria do not necessarily apply,” said Noelle, who adds that they have noticed increased levels of interest from the Irish diaspora.

Current fees stand at €19,300 for boarding and €11,550 for day boarders.

The new male students aren’t the only ones being welcomed to Glenstal this week. Carmel Honan has just taken up the role of principal and is the first female principal in the school’s history.

Fr William Fennelly OSB, headmaster, explained that Carmel will be in charge of the day to day management of the school.

“I will be more focused on admissions, strategic development, and ethos.  Carmel joins us from St Flannan’s College where she was principal for five years. She knows the monastery and school well here and we are very encouraged that such a capable person is so interested in the values we seek to incarnate and instill.

“This administrative change is intended to equip the school to develop and grow in the future in a way that will enhance the educational experience of our students and also to ensure that the monastic character of our school continues,” said Fr William. Carmel said she is “excited” by her new role.

“This school has a long established reputation of educating students in a holistic way, in keeping with the Benedictine ethos and tradition. The setting of Glenstal is unique, both in terms of the presence of a monastic community and the beauty of the surrounding landscape,” said Carmel.