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Assaroe (Abbey)

also known as: Eas Ruadh, Samarium

Order: Cistercian

1178 - Founded 1178 as a daughter house of Boyle.
The abbey of Blessed Mary at Assaroe was founded in 1179 as a daughter-house of Boyle Abbey.
Two possible founders are given – Roderick O’Cananan, prince of Tirconaill, and Flaherty, who killed Roderick in battle in 1188.
The monastery of Eas Ruadh was dedicated to God and St. Bernard in 1184 by Flaherty O’Muldorry, who died there aged 59 years in 1197.

The only identifiable remains are those of the church and comprise the ivy-covered section of the S wall and W gable with its N return (c. 9m high). Built of rubble and split stone with sandstone dressings, only the NW quoin with chamfered arris is in situ. The S wall which acts as a graveyard boundary is 15.8m in length to the interior return of the W gable, represented by a few protruding bond stones. Sheds have been build against the exterior face of the wall. It is joined to the surviving N section of the W gable by a modern graveyard wall. The N splayed ingoing for a window survives in the upper section of this gable. Some .7m of attached N wall remains giving an internal church width of 8.39m. Many moulded fragments of the late 12th/early 13th century date are scattered throughout the cemetery and other including three capitals and one cusped piece of tracery were built into the graveyard wall when it was constructed in the 19th century at the instigation of Dr. D. MacGettigan, Catholic Bishop of Raphoe, 1861 - 70), (Moran, ed. 1, 1873, 176), accessed 22/04/13

(SG107-044001- (Archaeological Survey of Ireland, Record Details) on compiled by Caimin O'Brien posted 15 November 2011)

Name of Foundation: Assaroe
Dedicated to: Blessed Mary, St. Bernard

Barony: Tirhugh/ Tír Aodha
Civil Parish: Kilbarron/ Cill Bharrainn
Townland: Abbey Island ()

Main events in the history of this site

1178Foundation - The abbey was founded in 1178 as a daughter-house of Boyle Abbey, Co. Roscommon. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 127) 
1179 - 1184 - The abbey of Blessed Mary, Assaroe, is recorded as being filled with monks. 
1197Burial - The monastery of Eas Ruadh was dedicated to St. God and St. Bernard in 1184 by Flaherty O’Muldorry, who died there aged 59 years in 1197. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 127) 
1227 - In 1227, the abbot was one of the principal instigators of in the ‘conspiracy of Mellifont’, and his immediate deposition was decreed. (Med. religious houses, Ire., 127) 
1241Burial - Donal Mor O’Donnell, King of Tirconnell, became a monk and was buried here in 1241. (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1268 - The abbot of Mellifont was asked to examine the position of the abbot of Samaria (Inis Samher), whose abbot was deposed in 1277 for not attending the chapters general for 12 years.(Med. religious houses, 127) 
1280 - Abbot Laurence O’Lagnan became abbot of Boyle. (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1298 - Death of Abbot Thomas O’Heraghty (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1319 - Abbot Thomas O’Donnell became bishop of Raphoe in 1319. (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1333 - Death of Aedh, son of Donal O’Donnell, who had become a monk at Assaroe. (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1348 - Nicholas O’Hedran, a monk of Assaroe, became bishop of Achonry.(Med. religious houses, 127) 
1377Destruction - The monastery was burnt in 1377 (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1380 - John O’Donnell and his son were slain at Assaroe in 1380.(Med. religious houses, 127) 
1388 - Many were killed, when the O’Donnell stronghold at the monastery was attacked in 1388. (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1398 - The abbey was plundered by Niall Og O’Neill, King of Tyrone, in 1398. (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1422 - Turlough, son of Niall Garb O’Donnell, Lord of Tirconnell, became a monk here in 1422 and died in 1423. (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1450 - Death of Abbot Edmond (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1470 - John O’Gallagher, clerk, acceded Abbot Magonius O’Gallagher. (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1488 - Donal O’Donnell was hung after being captured in the monastery in 1488 (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1502 - Art O’Gallagher and John O’Loiste, who contended for the abbacy, died on the same day in 1502. (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1519 - Abbot Edmund O’Dwyer became a Franciscan and was buried at Donegal in 1519. (Med. religious houses, 127) 
1550 - Death of Abbot John O’Gallagher. (Med. religious houses, 127) 
+ 10 minor events. Show minor events

Bibliographical sources

6 Printed sources

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Donegal, OSI Grid:G8701462282