Cistercian College in Co Tipperary to permanently close

The boarding school for boys in Roscrea is closing after 112 years

Cistercian College in Co Tipperary to permanently close

Image: Cistercian College

Cistercian College in Roscrea, Co Tipperary is to permanently close this year, management has announced.

The boarding school for boys opened in 1905, and is located in the grounds of Mount St Joseph Abbey. It is the only school in the world run by Cistercian (Trappist) monks.

In a letter, Abbot Richard Purcell said they have seen a 45% decrease in enrolments - currently at 167, which is down from an average of 300 prior to 2009.

Indications suggested there would only be an enrolment of around 150 for the 2017/18 school year.

"Running the College with these numbers is not financially viable," he explained. "Other options, including day students and the enrolment of girls, have been explored but were not considered viable."

No classes will be available after the summer for existing 1st, 3rd and transition year students, and management say they will work to facilitate a "smooth transfer" to other schools.

Discussions will be held with parents of 2nd and 5th year students over the possible continuation of classes and boarding facilities for the students' upcoming exam years.

"I want to pay tribute to generations of monks, staff, students, parents and past students whose hard work and dedication made Cistercian College Roscrea the unique and wonderful school that it is," Mr Purcell said.

Bishop of Killaloe Fintan Monahan said: "For over a century the contribution, and now the legacy, of the Cistercian College in the areas of Catholic education, in sport, in politics and public service, in business as well as in other key facets of Irish life, has been immense and is deeply appreciated throughout the Diocese of Killaloe and much further afield."