Parents told to examine options for Cistercian College Roscrea

Suggestions to save school include five-day boarding, day pupils and admission of girls

Trustees of the Co Offaly college  said that declining pupil numbers made the institution’s financial position unsustainable

Trustees of the Co Offaly college said that declining pupil numbers made the institution’s financial position unsustainable

 

Parents of students at Cistercian College Roscrea have been asked to come up with “options” to keep the Co Offaly boarding school open.

The Abbot of Mount St Joseph Abbey, home to the 167-pupil college, has agreed to give full consideration to any viable proposal which parents can come up with regarding the future of the school.

The news came after a meeting on Tuesday between the abbot, Dom Richard Purcell, and representatives of the Cistercian College Parents’ Association.

The meeting follows last Friday’s announcement by the trustees of the college that declining pupil numbers had made the institution’s financial position unsustainable and that the college would close within the next two years.

Students at the school, which is a seven-day boarding college for boys, were said by parents to be “inconsolable” and “heartbroken” when they heard of the planned closure, while parents and past-pupils said they would not accept the decision without exploring alternative options.

Among the suggestions already put forward by the parents’ association are five-day boarding, day pupils, admission of girls and a greater intake of international students.

Cistercian College boasts ex-taoiseach Brian Cowen and champion racehorse trainer Willie Mullins among its alumni.