Elphin (Co. Roscommon) / Ail Finn


elphin.jpg
The site was at the eastern end of the village, but there are no significant remains.

One Cornelius, Bishop of Elphin, granted the old church of St. Patrick to the friars before 1450.  The old Irish monastery of St. Patrick had been given to the Canons Regular of St. Augustine about 1140, but the church had ceased to be the cathedral of the diocese in 1244.  The Canons Regular seem to have died out about 1440.  The friars were expelled by the Anglican bishop in 1563.  The Observant friars were unable to return until 1632.  Expelled by the Cromwellians from their old friary, which had been converted into the Anglican bihop’s residence, the friars shipped some of their valuables to Louvain in 1645!  They returned again in 1658 and the community grew to a total of nine in 1766.  The second lst friar in the community went to Rome in 1787, leaving one old bed-ridden friar behind.  Soon after, the parish priest of Castlereagh paid for the education of a number of friars from the area in the hope of restoring Elphin friary.  One of these, Fr. Edward Garraghan, who was Minister Provincial in 1815-19, worked near Elphin for most of his life until he died in 1835.

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