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Athenry (Priory)

Order: Dominican Friars

Name of Foundation: Priory of SS Peter and Paul
Dedicated to: SS. Peter and Paul

Barony: Athenry/ Baile Átha an Rí
Civil Parish: Athenry/ Baile Átha an Rí
Townland: Athenry (Baile Átha an Rí)

Main events in the history of this site

1241 - 1242 - Phelim O'Conor built the refectory, Eugene O'Heyne built the dormitory,Cornelius O'Kelly the chapter house, and others the cloister, infirmary, great guest-house etc.(Coleman), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1241Foundation - The priory of SS. Peter and Paul was founded in 1241, with Milo de Bermingham (Meiler Mac Feorais) providing land and money for the building. (Add. MS. 4784, ff. 43- 54, extracts from Register), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1242 - A provincial chapter was held at Athenry in 1242 (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1250 - 1256 - Florence Mac Flin, archbishop of Tuam (1250 - 6) is said to have built a house for scholars in the friary. (WB), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1252Burial - Milo de Bermingham was buried in the church in 1252. (Coleman), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
c.1312 - The church was a celebrated burial place for the founder's descendants and others. Several bishops of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh were interred there. William, the founder's son and archbishop of Tuam between 1289 and 1312 was buried in a splendid tomb, beside his father. He had been involved in a serious dispute with the friars in 1297. (Burgo, WB), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1327 - 1345 - William de Burgo (d. 1324) helped to enlarged the church and priory, and the church and priory, and the church was re-edified in 1327 - 45.(Galway A.S, xxiv. 118), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1400 - An indulgence was granted for the preservation of the fabric in 1400. (Burgo), (Med. religious houses, 221) 
1423 - There was a serious fire, an indulgence being granted in 1423 because the buildings had been burnt by accident. (Burgo), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1445 - In 1445, there were 30 friars at Athenry, when another indulgence was granted for repairs after a fire. (CPR), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1451 - In 1451, the friars built a chapel on land north of the river called Carrowardahrah in Toulubane, granted by Ulick Rufus de Burgo. (Burgo), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221). 
1541, July - In July 1541, Adam de Coppynger was custos and the Lord Deputy allowed him and his brethern to remain undissolved, provided that they changed into secular habits, as they lay among the 'Irishry...amongst dissobeysence', (Coleman), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1555 - The friars received a further grant of land in 1555. (Coleman), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1568 - In 1568, Queen Elizabeth directed that the Earl of Clanricarde could preserve the friary for a burial place. (Morrin), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1574 - The friary, with 30 acres in Athenry and 12 acres in Ballidana, was granted to the town in 1574. In that year, the town and friary were sacked by Clanricarde's sons. (SG), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1585 - In 1585, John de Burgo the younger was seized of the friary lands of Killokelly (A 798 (CR)), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1595 - The friars reoccupied the buildings, which were spared when Red Hugh O'Donnell took Athenry in 1595. (Burgo, and M.J. Blake in Galway A.S. ii. 65 ff.), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221) 
1597 - The town and priory suffered severely in the wars at the end of the sixteenth century and the whole town was burned in 1597. (Mould, 96), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 222) 
c.1600 - The friary possessed 1,500 acres and abundant tithes; as well as the site and places mentioned above, the property included a good mill and several houses in the town, and outside the town the district of Glaimhe an Blain which had formerly belonged to the Benedictines; land to the south called Friars' Wood, and to the north called David's Village (Baile Dhaibhidh) where the friars had a chapel; a mile north-east a farm called Beann-dheara; another farm with a chapel called Coill Craobhanta; the chapel of Kilcorban with a good farm belonging to the convent, according to Ware, and there was a large fertile district, with a farm and chapel, called Rathchalaig tuadh lubainan Teampuill. (O'Heyne), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 221 - 222) 
1622 - 1685 - Fr. Ross Mageoghegan, the Provincial (appointed 1622), and other friars asked Ulick Burke, Earl of Clanricarde, for a site near their old friary, and they were given an isolated site between two lakes, called Coilascail (Brosk), near Esker; here they built a small friary and began to take novices, following the Regular Observance and later establishing a school of study. They recovered the old priory in 1685, retaining it until the general exile of 1698. (Coleman), (Med. religious houses, Ire., 222) 
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Bibliographical sources

13 Printed sources

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Archival sources

National Library of Ireland, 'Athenry Abbey', (Document), (View website)

National Library of Ireland, 'De Burgho's Tomb, restored 1645', (Document), (View website)

National Library of Ireland, 'Dominican Priory, Athenry, Co. Galway', (Document), (View website)

National Library of Ireland, 'Dominican Priory, Athenry, Co. Galway', (Document), (View website)

British Museum, 'Extracts from the Registrum monasterii fratrum praedicatorum de Athenry, 1240-1526.', (Document), (View website)

Salisbury Manuscripts, 'Notes on Ireland by John Burgh concerning the burning of Athenry, the Earl of Clanricarde, etc. (157', (Document), (View website)

National Library of Ireland, 'Plan of the Abby [sic] at Athenry Co. of Galway G.B. delt.', (Document), (View website)

National Library of Ireland, 'The abbey of Athenry, Co. of Gallway [sic]', (Document), (View website)

Dublin City Library, 'Transcripts from the Mss. of Sir J. Ware (ref Athenry)', (Document), (View website)

Galway, OSI Grid:M5041227780