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Mount St Joseph Abbey
cistercian college

Roscrea all-boys boarding school to close after 112 years

The school, which has seen a dramatic drop in enrolment in the past few years, will gradually close over the next few years.

AN ALL-BOYS BOARDING school has announced it’s to gradually close because of a significant drop in the number of enrolments.

In the past ten years, there has been a 45% decrease in student enrolments at Cistercian College “undoubtedly exacerbated” by the recession, according to a statement by the abbot of the college, Richard Purcell.

“The reality is that in the 20 years up to 2009, the college had an average enrolment of 300 boys. The current enrolment is 167. Indications were that enrolment for 2017/2018 would have been about 150.”

Purcell says that running the college on this number of enrolments is not possible.

What this means for students

From the beginning of the next academic year (in August/September of this year), there will be no classes for first, third and fourth/Transition Year students. These students will be transferred to other schools, according to Purcell.

Discussions will begin to ask second and fifth year students and their parents whether classes should continue until the end of the next academic year (June 2018).

The school assures that the announcement won’t affect this academic year.

Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killaloe said that the closure of Cistercian College “will be deeply felt in our diocese”.

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.

He offered his best wishes to staff, students and the school community as they began the “difficult process” of the gradual closure of the school.

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