Locals and past pupils reflect fondly following Cistercian College closure announcement

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

Cistercian College

The school is due to close after a history of 112 years

Locals and former pupils have been left reeling from the news that Roscrea's Cistercian College is to close its doors after 112 years. They have been reacting to the news on social media where there was widespread shock and despair following the revelations last week.

SEE ALSO: Campaign to save Cistercian College to begin with Birr meeting

Andrew Cody took to Facebook to describe the closure announcement as "a very sad day for all past pupils of Cistercian College." "My family's connection goes back to the very first day it opened in 1905 when my Granduncle, Fr Nicholas Cody was among its first pupils," he added.

Former pupil Christopher Byrne was also in shock as he said,"Absolutely horrible news. What can I say, as much as I hated the place at the time, it was a home away from home for six years of my life that I will never forget. It was more than just a boarding school."

Martin FitzGerald was also a former pupil at Cistercian and he reflected on its closure: "I fondly remember Fr Bonaventure bringing 2B Latin class into the front hall and we stood in a circle around the floor mosaic of the College Crest which read, 'Insideat Coelis Animo Sed Corporae Terris.' Most past pupils should understand the motto, even though few of us would have reached its aspiration." The phrase means: 'With the mind fixed on Heaven, the body must dwell upon on the earth.'

"Its closure will bring much sadness to the thousands of past pupils and will evoke many happy and some unhappy memories of our time in CCR over the coming days. Overall it was a fine school run by some fantastic men who tried to instill many worthy qualities in their pupils which have stood to them throughout their lives," Fitzgerald added.

Betty O'Reilly Banaghan reflected on the school for a different reason - many pleasant walks around the beautiful grounds: "It's a sad day for the Cistercian College. My late husband Brian was a boarder there, and we often visited it for walks in the beautiful grounds. We often listened to the Monks chanting their Matins on a Sunday evening. It is such a lovely place for a relaxing afternoon."

Hundreds of reflections and tributes to the school flooded in following last week's news, and the continued outpouring has now resulted in a campaign to keep the doors of Cistercian College in Roscrea open. The Parents Association of Cistercian College have organised a meeting for 7.30pm this Wednesday night, February 22, in the County Arms Hotel in Birr.

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