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Looking to secure a place at the best

boarding school in Ireland for your child?

Photo courtesy of St Columba's

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"I understand completely the challenges, sacrifices and difficult decisions we parents face when sending our children away to school. I believe that I am in a good position to help you through this process and share the benefits of my experience"

Dee McDonnell, Director

About Us

At Irish Boarding Schools we help you to select & secure the perfect boarding school for your child. Securing a place can often be difficult but with the benefit of our experience we can maximise your chance of success.


We will lead you through the selection, application and acceptance process, step by step, and once you have received your school offer we will ensure that your son or daughter are well prepared for their life at boarding school.

Based on our unique, thorough knowledge of all 23 boarding schools in Southern Ireland (Irish education system) and Northern Ireland (British education system), we can guide you to find the best option for your child.


Securing a place in an Irish boarding school can be difficult, based on places available, application procedures and student requirements. As education and examination systems vary greatly throughout Europe and the rest of the world, parents must ensure that the timing and duration of your child’s time at boarding school in Ireland, will provide the best opportunities and experience at the selected school, whilst minimising disruption to & enhancing their return to their native education system.

We also place children long term in Irish Boarding schools to complete either the Irish Leaving Certificate, the British GCSEA-Levels or the International Baccalaureate programmes.


We treat every family as a new and unique client, through a series of meetings and or calls we will ensure that the unique needs of your family are catered for in choosing your child's Irish boarding school.


Director Dee McDonnell is passionate about education, is a qualified CPA who has achieved professional roles in the business worlds of professional practice, financial control, corporate consulting, project management & risk management, & education. Dee is mother to a boy & girl who attend boarding school from abroad, & has a natural passion to help growing children engage fruitfully in academics, languages, music, art & sports.​

In addition to the practical arrangements required for a child living away from home & learning English, Dee is interested in the key personal relationships & individual understanding required to make the very best choice of school for each individual child.


The Experience

Attending a boarding school in Ireland offers two key experiences for your child, living independently from home for a year or more, and the opportunity to become conversationally fluent in English.


The boarding school experience offers students at second level a rich educational experience, the academics, sports, music & more, but mostly the experience of being part of the dynamic of a peer group, who live, eat and play together, while striving for academic achievement.


The Irish & UK systems offer a unique blend of the traditional boarding school model & the traditions of world famous literature & music, enterprise & creativity, in a modern english speaking European state.


School fees for Irish boarding schools are very price competitive when compared to similar schools on the UK mainland & European continent.


Irish Boarding Schools recognize that immersion programmes offer the optimum opportunity for your child to learn a second language and become fluent for life. Attending boarding school in Ireland for a year or longer will ensure that your child experiences 100% immersion.


The unique benefit of this boarding school based immersion is that your child will experience and feel the English language in its natural environment, and 'live the language', hearing & using expressions, words and phrases in context.


We treat every family as a new and unique client, through a series of meetings and or calls we will ensure that the unique needs of your family are catered for in choosing your child's Irish school.


Irish Boarding Schools has sucessfully placed children from Spain, Germany, Finland, Japan and Oman. We continue to grow and enjoy our very special relationship with each family. We take great pride in seeing our young international students settle into life at boarding school and thrive on their exciting adventure.


"After many months looking for a school for my 15 year old son in Canada, USA, England, etc, suddenly I found on the internet this website. I contacted Dee and from the first moment we felt very close and comfortable with her. We had a first meeting with her, when she explained to us all the advantages that Irish Boarding Schools has and suggested a wonderful school in Northern Ireland. We travelled to visit the school, we flew to Dublin and she picked us up in her own car and took us to the school and spent the whole day with us. She is more than an expert in Boarding Schools, she is a mother, that understands the kids. The best thing is that she has sent her own daughter to the same school as my son.
My son is super happy, he has made a lot of new friends, he is playing rugby all the time and enjoys the extracurricular activity of Cadete Forces. The school is absolutely wonderful and the price even better. I recommend Dee to any family that is looking for a different experience for their kids."

Maria and her son Nico (15 yrs), Madrid 

"We were recommended to Miss Dee by an Irish family friend, we were nervous about this experience , but through Miss Dee and her long experience in boarding related issues and also as she is mother, the road paved clearly and the process went quickly and smoothly, starting from recommending the appropriate school to the Skype interview and recommending the Guardian, she is really excellent and transparent."

Khamis and his son Qasim (14 yrs), Oman 

“Dee has made our search for a boarding school for my daughter very easy, we are extremely fortunate to have found Dee and she was a huge help! After discussing with us and our daughter, Dee personally selected some boarding schools my daughter would seem to enjoy and drove her and my wife around Ireland to visit them. They ended up finding a perfect match for my daughter and I cannot stress enough our gratitude.”

Guillaume and his daughter Emilie (15yrs), Tokyo

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