Photographer's Note

Dominican friars first came to Ireland in 1224. By the time of the suppression of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1540, they had established 38 houses. This Dominican Friary, dedicated to St. Mary, was founded around 1470 by Richard de Burgo of Turlough, Lord MacWilliam Oughter. Permission of the Pope had not been sought for its foundation -- an oversight for which the community faced a threat of excommunication -- but in 1486, the Pope instructed the Archbishop of Tuam to forgive the friars.

All that remains today is the church and the eastern wall of the cloister in which the monks walked and meditated. All the domestic buildings -- the kitchens, the dormitories and the refectory -- have been destroyed. The church consists of a nave and chancel, a south transept and a low tower. A 15th century bronze seal, which may have been the official seal of the friary, was found embedded in a window of the upstairs dormitory.
The site is very serene and well-kept, located on an inlet of the sea. The area features prominently in the legendary " Father Manus Sweeney," of which a book and movie were made. The Year of the French was a period in the late 1700s, when the local Irish rebelled against their English oppressors, with the assistance of the French. Needless to say, things didn't go very well and the French abandoned their attempts and left the poor Irish rebels to deal with the consequences. In the middle of Burrishoole Abbey is a large Celtic cross headstone for a priest, Father Manus Sweeney, who was hung for his involvement in the uprising

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Additional Photos by Pat Lim (plimrn) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3999 W: 226 N: 6734] (21344)
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