Founded in 1448, the Franciscan Friary known as Muckross Abbey contains the tombs of local Gaelic Chiefains.

Located close to Muckross House in Killarney National Park, Muckross Abbey was founded for the Observantine Franciscans by Donal McCarthy Mór.

This is a building with a violent past. Persecuted by Cromwellian forces under Lord Ludlow, many of the monks were murdered here in 1652.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, the Abbey became the burial place of the three Gaelic poets: Aodhagan O’Rathaille , Geoffrey O’Donoghue and Eoghan Rua O’Suilleabháin.

Today, the abbey is remarkably well preserve, and visitors can get a strong sense of what it was like to live there. The centrepiece of the Abbey is an ancient Yew tree, located on the middle of a cloistered courtyardand is said to be as old as the Abbey itself.

Muckross Abbey

If you are in Killarney, do yourself a favour and stay with Serena and her family. Serena made us feel super welcome, her cooked breakfasts are delicious with a focus on locally sourced ingredients and she gave us fantastic tips for Killarney and the area. We followed her suggested route and it was better than the one we had planned initially with our guide book. The room was spotlessly clean and the beds were comfortable.