An alternative holiday in Donegal offers young women the experience of life in an English boarding school.
Former members of the Rhennish Community or the Silver Sisterhood in Burtonport, County Donegal open Saint Bride's, a school for adult women wishing to experience boarding school life.
In 1982 the Rhennish Community or the Silver Sisterhood moved to the fishing village of Burtonport. They occupied the house An Droichead Beo, formally known as Atlantis House, once home to the group known locally as the Screamers.
The Rhennish Community has ceased to be, but its members remain, and An Droichead Beo has metamorphosed into a school for young ladies.
Saint Bride’s is intended to resemble a traditional English boarding school, offering courses for women in their 20s and 30s who wish to relive the experience and fun of old fashioned boarding school life.
Headmistress Brighe Dachcolwyn describes a typical day for students at St Bride’s. She is unperturbed that take up for the courses is slow as the school has just opened. She believes that a holiday at Saint Bride's means visitors can see an unusual part of Ireland and experience what it is like to have a carefree young adolescence.
Since Saint Bride’s opened, foreign television crews and newspaper journalists have flocked to Burtonport. Not all of the coverage of the school has been positive, but Brighe Dacholwyn dispels the negative accusations, saying the tone of the press is slowly changing.
Donegal people know we are serious, and we know we are serious and gradually that atmosphere of thinking it can’t really be true seems to be fading from the publicity.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 May 1984. The reporter is Tommie Gorman.