Holy Cross Abbey Sligo (Ruins) (24) da Irish Dominican Photographers
There is no evidence to show that O 'Connor of Sligo was the founder, or even the restorer, of the abbey. It is probable, however, that both he and Pierce O'Timony, to whom elaborate monuments were erected in the church, were munificent benefactors.
1418. Tigernan, son of Ualgarc Ua Ruairc, namely, king of Breifni, died this year: to wit, a man who defended his territory against the neighbours and was best of hospitality and prowess and charity that was in his time. And he was buried in the monastery of Sligech.
1484. Brian Mac Donough, monarch of Tirerrill, co. Sligo, was buried here Annals of Dud. Mac Firbis.
1568. Jan. 25. " The Queen [Elizabeth] to O'Conor Sligo.
<i>. . . Lastly, we let you to understande that upon his humble and reasonable request, we are well contented that the howse of the Fryerie of Sligo, whearin, he sayth, the sepulture of his auncestors hayth bene, shal be so preserved, as the Friars there, being converted to secular prestes, the same Howse may remayne and contynue, as well for the sepulchre of his posteritie, as for the mayntenance of prayer and service of God." </i>
1585. Inquisition, taken in 27th Eliz., finds that this friary contained a church, steeple and cemetery ; two other stone buildings of no value ; a quarter of land of every kind, with the tithes thereof when under tillage, called the Fynut [? Fryer] quarter, annual value besides reprises, 133. 4d. ; a fishing weir, annual value, besides reprises, 35. 4d., made parcel of the same possessions, which together with the said friary was in the occupation of certain priests who had formerly been friars of the monastery.
In 1591, among the proofs of matters of fact contained in the declaration of title of earl of Kildare to Sligo, is mentioned <i>" the building of the castle and monastery of Sligo by the Earl's ancestors, proved by hearsay of witnesses and by another who saith the same is fair written in the Book of Antifihonalles, of the abbey of Sligo." </i>
The fathers were evidently left in quiet possession of the abbey for the greater part of Elizabeth's reign, for, in 1593, we find Father O'Duane writing a letter from the Convent of Sligo. In 1595, however, George Bingham, brother of the president of Connaught, took up his quarters in the abbey, when he was besieging O'Donnell's warders who were in the castle, and ordered an engine to be constructed for demolishing it. This they constructed of the rood-screen, and of the bed-chambers of the friars and of other implements they found in, the monastery.
It is probable that shortly after this, the fathers, who had dwindled down in numbers till hardly any remained, were driven out of the abbey, which was granted to William Taaffe. In 1608, the only Dominican left in Sligo was Father O'Duane, who died that year, but, before he closed his eyes in death, Father Daniel O'Crean arrived from Spain to take his place and form a new community. In 1622, there were ten fathers in Sligo under Father O'Crean as prior, who was again prior in 1629, over a community of eight priests, three or four young clerics and a few novices
In 1627, a provincial chapter had been held in Sligo.
In the war of 1641, some of the fathers were the first victims of the Puritans. Lord Chichester, who certainly had little partiality for the insurgents, writing to the King from Belfast, in 1641, in a document now in the Record Office, states that the Irish had then captured Dungannon, Charlemont, Tanderagee, and Newry, with all their military stores, but so far he could not learn that <i>" they had slain more than one man."</i> Sufficient evidence of the manner in which the civil war was waged by those who then commanded the King's forces in Ireland is afforded by a very rare and little known personal narrative left by one of the officers, which, although written in the third person, is shown by internal evidence to have been the work of the hero whose deeds are recorded. From this remarkable tract the following passages are quoted: <i>"A true relation of the manner of our Colonel Sir Frederick Hamilton's returne from Londonderry, with the services performed by the Horse and Foote Companies which he commanded, garrisoned at Manor Hamilton in Leitrim."
. . . " July 1st, with horse and foote our Colonel marcht about midnight to the Castle walls, and after much delays and joyned by his own party took possession of the castle.
. . . Our Colonel then marcht towards the towne of Sligo. With horse and foot we fell on a great many good houses full of people near the bridge, and burned and destroyed them all. At the south-west end of the town we crossed the river, which brought us close to the Friary, burned the superstitious trumperies of the Masse and many things given for safety to the Fryars.
. . . The Fryars themselves were also burnt, and two of them running out were killed in their habits."
. . . "Wearisome our marche and hot our service in burning that night of the towne of Sligo, where it is confest by themselves we destroyed more than 300 persons by fire, sword, and drowning to God's everlasting honour and glory and our comforts." </i>
The community, of course, was broken up during the course of the war, but was formed again after the Restoration. Its temporal welfare was well looked after by Father Phelim O'Conor. In 1668, Father O'Conor put out to interest, for the benefit of the Sligo community, £300 which Terence O'Connell had left behind him, when he died in London. From this time till the general exile of 1698, there were generally nine fathers in community. After this exile, some of the fathers returned in spite of the penal edicts, and, in 1703, there were, according to the Provincial's account, five fathers in Sligo, one of whom, Father Patrick O'Conor, was lying in prison.
On March 6, 1702, at Sligo, <i>" Patrick O'Conor stood indicted the Lent Assizes before, for not departing out of this kingdom, the first day of May, 1698, he being a Dominican fryer. Ordered that he be confined in goale without bail until he be transported pursuant to the late act. The Grand Jury for the said county, at the said Assizes, did present that the Judges of Assize would lay this matter before the Government, in order to have the said Patrick O'Conor transported, which was ordered by the Court." </i>
Five were generally the number of the community during the eighteenth century, In the Lords' Committee Returns of 1731, it is stated that in Sligo there is <i>" one Friary, the friars dispersed about the country, not above three or four known." </i>
A neat little chapel was erected at the back of the houses in Pound Street, in the latter half of the eighteenth century. In 1803, Father Brennan, who had been many years in Sligo, made a public appeal for funds for the <i>" Fryary Chapel of Sligo,"</i> which was <i>" tottering into decay." </i>
The present church, which has been greatly enlarged and improved within recent years, was dedicated to divine service by Dr. Daniel O'Conor, O.S.A., formerly vicar-apostolic of Madras, on the feast of the Epiphany, 1848. The present convent was finished and occupied by the fathers in 1865.
Ballymote, in the county Sligo. The church, which is still used as a place of burial by all the surrounding parishes, is only fifty feet in length by twenty in breath and there are now no traces of the abbey.
From the registry of Sligo abbey, we learn that Father Bernard Mac Donough, son of Dermot of Ballynedan, called the prior, a lector of theology in Sligo abbey, founded the monastery of Clunimilian (Cloonymeaghan), near Sligo, which afterwards became a vicariate of Sligo abbey.
1584. The chapel, or cell, of the Mendicant Friars of the Order of St. Dominic, called Clonymeaghan, etc., with one quarter of land of every kind, called Ronyroge, with the tithes, etc., was found to be worth thirteen shillings and fourpence, per annum, and had been concealed and unknown for a long time, owing to the wars and the incivility of those parts.
The site was granted at first, on March 12, 1588, to Richard Kindlemersh, then to the Taafifes, from whom, with the rest of the property, is passed to the earl of Shelbourne, except about two acres under and around the ruins, which belonged to the Dodwells and was transmitted by them to their relative, Mr. Creighton, the present owner.
<b>FATHER THADY O'DUANE</b>
BEING a member of the Dominican Order in Ireland from the time of the suppression of the monasteries till the reign of James I. Father O'Duane was the principal link connecting the old with the new order of things. He was Provincial in 1563, long before his native abbey of Sligo had been suppressed, in which year he received Sister Honor Burke in the Third Order. From a letter he wrote to the General of the Order, in 1593, we find that he had been appointed vicar of the province, by the late Provincial, Father Mac Tugan [Egan ?], before the latter's death. The General confirmed the appointment the same year ; again in the following year and again in 1597. Father O'Duane ruled the province as vicar till 1600, when Father O'Crean, also of Sligo, was appointed Provincial. On the latter going to Spain three years later, he left Fr. O'Duane to fill his place. In 1604, Father O'Duane was Provincial himself and held the office till his death in 1608, in which year he was appointed again, with the proviso that, in case of his death, Father Patrick Thady was to be Provincial
The Acts of the general chapter of 1656 gives several edifying anecdotes regarding him. It appears that on one occasion, when captured by the Protestant garrison of Burrishoole Castle, he converted them all and they dispersed themselves through the country in order not to be won to heresy again. When, worn but with the weight of years and a laborious life, he was about to die, he consoled the Catholics who were attending him and were lamenting that there was no priest to succour him, with the assurance that he should not depart this life till a priest of the Order would come to him to assist him in his agony and remain among them to carry on the work of administering the sacraments. This happened as he had foretold, for, on the very day of his death, Father Daniel O'Crean (not the late Provincial) arrived from Lisbon after having finished his studies, and prepared him for his end. He was buried hi the church of Sligo abbey.
<b>FATHER PHELIM O'CONOR</b>
O'HEYNE is incorrect in assigning Father O'Conor's death to 1686. His name is not to be found in the Provincial's lists of the fathers of Roscommon and Sligo from 1682 to 1686. The true version of his death is given by Father Mac Donagh, who, in an account of the financial state of the Sligo community, the original manuscript of which is still preserved by the fathers there, written in Bilbao, in 1703, thus refers to him :
<i>" It is most sure when y e R. fa. M Felix O'Conor was Prior of Sligoe, y e Con* had fiftheen Silver Chalices and three pixes ; the said fa : died a prisoner in Sligoe in y e heate of Shaftsberry's Plott y e year 1679. There was such a cruel and vigorous persecution in those dayes, y* none of y e fathers of our Convent cud assist him nor come neere him, nor gett any satisfactory account of our goods and effects at y e time. I was imediately elected Prior after his death, "etc. </i>
A letter from Father O’Connor, written at Brussels in 1653, giving an interesting account of his adventures during the Cromwellian war. From this letter it appears he was prior of the Black Abbey, Kilkenny, at that time, and excited such opposition from the Supreme Council for obeying the nuncio's interdict, that on three several occasions he was brought before them and threatened with exile. On the surrender of the town to Cromwell, he was excepted from quarter, but, managing to escape, he made his way to the convent of Burrishoole in the county Mayo, where he was immediately elected prior. Attacks were made on this convent by the Parliamentarians, but were repulsed on two occasions by Father O'Conor and some soldiers he had with him. However, on the third attack being made, the convent was at length forced, several of the religious were wounded and some captured, while others made good their escape to the mountains. Father O'Conor, taking a little boy with him, seized a boat, a mere dug-out canoe, and managed to get to Clare Island, sixteen miles off. There he found a large number of ecclesiastics and some of the Catholic soldiers, who had taken refuge on that island. In a short time, however, the island was surrounded by seven Parliamentarian vessels and he and the other ecclesiastics were; taken on board and sent into exile.
<b>FATHER AMBROSE O'CONOR. </b>
HE was Provincial from 1700 to 1704, and afterwards continued in office till 1709. It was by his command that O'Heyne wrote his Epilogus Ckronologicus. His visitation in Ireland was made in 1702 and the following year, at which period he found about ninety fathers engaged in missionary work there, though it was penal for any of them to be found in the country at the time. The names of the fathers are recorded in the Liber Provincice, which is still preserved by the Galway community. On his return to the Continent, lie wrote an account in Latin, in 1704, of the deplorable state of Ireland to Clement XI., and committed it to the press the same year. It is entitled [trans.] "An Account of the Present State of Ireland, under the Yoke of the Protestants, in 1704, in which especially three things are shown ; 1st, That the Treaty of Limerick has been violated; and, 2nd That the True Religion is being extirpated; 3rd, That Respect for the Holy See has been brought to naught."
In 1708, he undertook a quasi-political mission for the exiled Stuart prince, to England and Ireland. An account of this mission, written for the prince, appears in Hook's Scottish Negotiations (edit. of 1760), p. 119 et seq. From this account we learn that he had important interviews with Lord Limerick, in Ireland, with twenty-three lords in London, the Lord Marshal of Scotland and Lord Drummond. He writes : When I went over to Ireland, the King, my master, ordered me to inform myself exactly of the state of affairs in that Kingdom. I have acquitted myself of that commission to the utmost of my power, as your Majesty will see by what follows.
<i>" Having received orders to sail from Brest, notwithstanding the bad success of the Scottish expedition, I arrived in Ireland on the 5th of May of the present year 1708. Having learnt the instant I landed that all the Lords etc. had been seized, I gave intelligence of that to Lord Clanrickarde. The same day I advanced into, the country as far as I could, to have some conversation with the persons to whom I was directed by my letters to address myself." </i>
On June 16th of the following year, he was recommended by the Stuart Prince for the diocese of Ardagh, but the recommendation was ignored by the Holy See, like some others coming from the same source, though James repeated his request in January, 1710. Father O'Conor died in London, on February 20, 1711.
Burrishoole Friary is a tourist attraction, one of the Rovine in Burrishoole Bridge, Repubblica d'Irlanda. It is located: 56 km Caisleán an Bharraigh da, 690 km Dublino da, 750 km Belfast da. Leggi ulteriori