Burrishoole Friary, now a national monument, was founded in 1470 by Richard de Burgo of Turlough. De Burgo was an ancestor of Risdeárd an Iarainn Bourke; Granuaile O’Malley’s second husband, who originally owned the nearby Rockfleet Castle. Richard de Burgo resigned his lordship in 1469 and entered the friary where he remained until his death four years later. Dominican friaries were often attacked and it was recorded here in 1652 that English soldiers savagely treated two 100 year old nuns who after fleeing to the nearby Saint’s Island were later captured, stripped naked, had their ribs broken and were left to die during a cold February day! Most of the 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.

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