Richard Phelan, later Abbot Maurus of Mount Melleray, was born in Kilrossanty, Co. Waterford in 1853. He entered the Cistercian Order at Mount Melleray in 1872, was ordained in 1878, and became Abbot in 1908. To Fr Maurus, a native Irish speaker, is generally attributed the cultivation of the culture and traditions of the Irish language in the College of Mount Melleray, and in the surrounding district. His surviving papers and correspondence are an important source for the history of the language movement nationally and locally. He died in 1931.