History & Info
The Augustinian Priory of Abbeyderg is located in the cemetary of Abbeyderg about 5 km from Kenagh village. The priory was founded in the 13th century by Gormgal O’Quinn, Lord of Rathcline, chief of Muintir Ghiollagáin. Known as Mainisterderg or Dearg it was dedicated to St Peter. The Abbey remained in existence until 1540 when it, along with four other monasteries in the Annaly region, was surrendered to Henry VIII.
The lands and buildings were bestowed upon Nicholas Alymore, an English soldier at that time. In later years, Shane O’Ferald (Ferrall) was granted a 21 year lease of the ‘site of the monastery monasterderge’. It was then largely destroyed in 1567, after the granting of a 21 year lease to a Thomas Byram. The Abbey Church however remained almost intact.
The priory is surrounded by a graveyard with the majority of the headstones dating from the 19th and 20th centuries. The remains of Maiolin O’Mulgonry, who has been described as Chief Ollamh and poet of Ireland are buried here.
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