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Mount St Joseph Abbey via Facebook

Historic Cistercian College Roscrea saved from closure by €1.5 million in pledges

An action group has worked to see enrolments increase sufficiently to keep the school open.

THE HISTORIC CISTERCIAN College Roscrea has announced a rescue package which has prevented the closure of the well-known boys’ boarding school at Mount St Joseph Abbey.

The breakthrough comes just one month after it was announced that Cistercian College was to close in June of this year due to a dramatic fall off in student numbers. In the past ten years, there has been a 45% decrease in student enrolments at the college.

However, a group of volunteers made up of parents and past pupils formed the CCR Action Group which pledged to devise a restructuring plan to ensure the future viability of the school.

That group has worked to see enrolments increase sufficiently to keep the school open.

The school’s trustees paid tribute to the wider school community for its “incredible response” which made it possible to reverse last month’s closure announcement.

It said a rescue package, which includes significant financial contributions in the form of personal pledges totalling in excess of €1.5million, could not have been achieved without the efforts of the CCR Action Group.

“This is one of the most joyous days in the history of Cistercian College. We have witnessed a small miracle over the past 4 weeks. The decision to close was an extremely difficult one for the monastic community to make and so we are understandably overjoyed to now be in a position to announce that the college will remain open,” said Dom Richard Purcell, Abbot of Mount St Joseph Abbey.

CCR Action Group Chairman Ronnie Culliton reiterated the Abbot’s sentiments, adding:

We are looking to the future with great enthusiasm now. This is a wonderful place for young men to be educated, play sport, develop musical talents and grow friendships that will last a lifetime. We are delighted that we can now offer this fantastic opportunity to receive an education grounded in the Cistercian ethos to a greater number of families.

The school counts Brian Cowen, Dick Spring, Willie Mullins and Gavin Duffy among past pupils.

Read: Roscrea all-boys boarding school to close after 112 years

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