Mount Melleray Abbey
MOUNT MELLERAY ABBEY
Monastery of Cistercian contemplatives of the strict observance or trappists, Cappoquin, County Waterford, Ireland. It was founded in 1832 by 64 monks expelled from the abbey of melleray, France, after the revolution of 1830. The monks, mostly Irish, a few English, were under the leadership of Dom Vincent M. Ryan (1778–1845) a native of Waterford City, and former prior of the French abbey. They obtained refuge on a farm in Kerry until 1832 when Sir Richard Keane of Cappoquin offered them 500 acres of unreclaimed moorland. Nearly 10,000 volunteers from neighboring parishes helped to erect a temporary house, to fence the land and to begin its reclamation. In 1838 the Church was consecrated, but the monks lived in poverty—yet during the Great Famine of 1847 and its aftermath they aided starving thousands. The following monasteries have been founded by Mount Melleray: 1835, Mount St. Bernard, Leicestershire, England; 1849, New Melleray, Iowa; 1878, Mount St. Joseph, Roscrea, Ireland: 1938, mellifont abbey, County Louth, Ireland; 1948, Portglenone, County Antrim, Ireland; 1954, Kopua, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.
Bibliography: l. h. cottineau, Répertoire topobibliographique des abbayes et prieurés, 2 v. (Mâcon 1935–39) 2:1999. a. j. luddy, The Story of Mount Melleray (Dublin 1946).
[k. j. walsh]