ARD Scoil Mhuire secondary school in Bruff – which is due to close its doors in June – has gone on the market and is being sold by private treaty.
According to sources, the asking price for the convent and the surrounding grounds – it is set on six and a half acres – is €500,000.
The school, which is run under the auspices of the FCJ order, has been providing secondary education in the town since 1856.
It is expected that the convent will be put up for public auction as soon as the current cohort of students have finished their State exams on June 21.
“The reason they (the FCJ order) are not going public with it at the moment is they want to let the children do their exams in peace,” said a source this week.
There are currently 41 Leaving and Junior certificate students preparing to do their State exams at the school.
The sixth year students are due to graduate from the school this Thursday while the third years will continue their studies for another week before both sets of students return for their exams in June.
It is understood that the convent has been on the market for several months.
In 2009, the FCJ order announced that it was no longer able to commit the level of funding required for the school on an ongoing basis, and, therefore, would no longer be able to remain as trustees beyond 2013.
A group of parents formed a committee called the Bruff School Action Committee and organised a number of public rallies in the town in a bid to safeguard the future of the school.
Hundreds of people turned out at several meetings in the town to organise a strategy to ensure the school’s future. Three options in relation to the future of the school were examined including looking for another trustee group to take on the trusteeship of the school, the possibility of an amalgamation with another school, or closure.
All the feeders schools in the area were also contacted in an effort to make it known that Ard Scoil Mhuire was open for business.
Two banners spelling out Save our School’ were erected across the street and a petition was circulated in the area. The FCJ order have declined to comment on the sale of the convent.