At last! Mellifont Abbey to reopen
Published 26/07/2014 | 12:00
AT LAST! That's the overwhelming feeling of both locals and visitors in relation to the reopening of old Mellifont Abbey this Friday.
The first Cistercian monastery in Ireland, located near Tullyallen, has been closed for months with more than one 'false dawn' about when it was being opened to the public.
July 1 was the due date and then it became July 11 and now has been pushed out to July 25.
A sign at the junction on the Collon Road had warned people about its closure, but it was removed last week, meaning many would be visitors were driving all the way to the abbey road, only to find it fenced off.
Buses have also fallen foul of the signs, forced to turn at a narrow crossroads.
The abbey, founded in 1142 by St Malachy of Armagh, was closed in April to allow for a 'scheme of works' to take place.
'It was a strange time to close it, with the tourist season coming. Could the work not have taken place earlier so it would be ready?' one local resident asked.
The Heritage Ireland website confirmed the site would reopen on Friday and said 'any inconvenience caused' was regretted.
The site will remain open until September 24 next.