Appointment of Principal of Glenstal Abbey School

On Wednesday 31st May 2017, in a letter to staff and parents, Abbot Brendan Coffey OSB, together with the Chairpersons of the school’s Board of Governors and Board of Management, announced the appointment of Ms Carmel Honan to the role of Principal of Glenstal Abbey School, with effect from 1st September 2017.

The role of school Principal was traditionally included in the office of Headmaster, and so, up to now, has always been held by a monk of the Benedictine community of Glenstal. Carmel Honan is therefore the first lay Principal in the eighty-five-year history of the school.

The appointment of a Principal to work alongside the Headmaster marks a change in the organisational structure of the school. The current Headmaster, Fr William Fennelly OSB, will continue in that role, with responsibility for strategy, mission, ethos, fundraising, development and the promotion of the school. As Principal, Ms Honan will lead the Senior Management Team, look after day-to-day school management, lead teaching and learning, and have overall responsibility for staff, standards, discipline, policies and HR issues.

When he announced the decision to re-structure the school in this way earlier this year, Abbot Brendan said, “We believe that this new structure will equip our school to face the challenges of the future with confidence, while maintaining a strong monastic presence at the helm.” Following an open competition and two rounds of interviews, Ms Honan was recommended by the selection committee for appointment to the role of Principal. In their letter to staff and parents, Abbot Brendan and the Chairpersons of the two school Boards said that they were “delighted to announce the appointment of Ms Carmel Honan to the position of Principal of Glenstal Abbey School”.

Carmel Honan is a native of Ennis, Co. Clare, where she was educated at Holy Family School and Coláiste Muire. After studies in NUIG, she began her teaching career in 1989. She was appointed Principal of St Flannan’s College, Ennis in 2012. She also holds an MA in Psychotherapy. She has previously served on both the Board of Management and the Board of Governors at Glenstal and is well acquainted with the school. She brings immense experience and knowledge to this new position and is looking forward to working closely with the Headmaster, Fr William Fennelly OSB.