1940 – Mount Melleray Abbey Church, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford

Architect: Jones & Kelly



The monastery was founded on 30 May 1832 at Scrahan, Cappoquin, by a colony of Irish and English monks, who had been expelled from the abbey of Melleray after the French Revolution of 1830, and who had come to Ireland under the leadership of Fr. Vincent de Paul Ryan. It was called Mount Melleray in memory of the motherhouse.

This vast building was constructed between 1933 and 1940 with the Foundation Stone laid by Cardinal McRory on 18th August 1933. Preparations for building were started immediately, but the actual work did not start until January 1935. After the destruction of Mitchelstown Castle during the Irish Civil War, the stones were subsequently sold to the monks of Mount Melleray who reputedly used them to build the new abbey.

The abbey was completed and solemnly blessed on 26 November 1940. It contains two churches, one for the monks, and another for the public. Work continued on the interior with a high altar and some 20 lesser altars, and a magnificent stained-glass window, the work of the Harry Clarke studio, behind the high altar. A spacious sacristy and a chapter room, suited for the needs of a large community, were added.