It’s now time to close the Cistercian monasteries at Portglenone in Antrim, Mellifont in Louth, Roscrea in Tipperary and Moone in Kildare and relocate all monks to the mother house at Mellerary in Waterford.

This will leave Mellerary with a viable community of 20 + monks.

There is absolutely no point in having four or five old monks in monasteries built for larger communities.

Plus, it’s a waste of money maintaining 5 old, nearly empty buildings.

There may be problems about lands that were left in wills to the different monasteries. Some lands can be sold and other lands go back to the donor’s families.

Another problem will be the individual monastery graveyards where generations of monks have been interred.

This problem has been solved by other religious orders by reinternment in other cemeteries.

Some monastery graveyards can be cordoned off and come under the care of a parish or a diocese.

There have been Cistercian sexual abuse cases in some monasteries.

There are concerns about the Purcell activities in Roscrea and Mellerary.

Purcell is not the only Cistercian monk who had a homosexual lifestyle.

There have also been concerns about alcohol abuse in some monasteries.

Perhaps the situation in Cistercian Ireland has not been addressed because the Abbot General was Irish?

Dom Eamon has a big problem with indecisiveness.

Hopefully a new Abbot General and a new council will bring a renewed energy to the order’s problems.

The “Irish Situation” must be at the top of the agenda for the new abbot general and his council.