Burrishoole Friary, Newport, County Mayo

This national monument is the beautiful ruin of Burishoole Abbey. It was founded by Sir Richard de Burgo for the Dominican order in 1469, who resigned his lordship and entered the friary as a friar and remained here until his death four years later. De Burgo was an ancestor of Risteárd an Iarainn Bourke, the second husband of Granuaile (The Pirate Queen), who owned nearby Rockfleet Castle. The abbey had a troubled history, due to the political turmoil in the area. Dominican friaries were often attacked and it was recorded in 1652 that English soldiers savagely treated two 100 year old nuns here who after fleeing to the nearby Saint’s Island were later captured, stripped naked, had their ribs broken and were left to die on a cold winter day! Most abbeys and friaries in Ireland were suppressed during the Reformation and very few, including this one, were rebuilt. The oldest inscribed tomb in the Abbey is the O’Kelly altar tomb with a Latin inscription dated 1623. Peregrine O’Cleirigh, one of the Four Masters, is also buried in the abbey dated February 1664.