The Franciscans first came to Muckross outside Killarney, about 1448. After the suppression of that friary, the friars stayed in the area ministering to the people. The last remaining friar left Killarney in 1849.
The site is a well-known tourist attraction by the Lakes of Killarney.
Remains: the church, transept chapel, tower and friary are complete.
Killarney m1Donal McCarthy Mór founded the friary of Muckross for the Observant friars about 1448. Building continued for nearly fifty years. The friary was dedicated to the Holy Trinity. The community was legally suppressed in 1541, but the friars were able to remain in residence until about 1589, when two friars were killed during an English raid.
The Franciscans returned about 1600, again about 1612, and at least by 1639, having been driven out on the two previous occasions. The Cromwellians expelled them again in 1652. The friars withdrew to a place of refuge, probably Friars Glen on the side of Mangerton. About 1760 the few remaining friars moved to a cottage at Faghbawn, by the Flesk River. By now the community was reduced to two, yet the friars started a college in 1780 on the site of the present Scott’s Hotel in Killarney. This eventually grew into the Diocesan College of St. Brendan. The last friar, Fr J. FitzGerald probably left Killarney in 1849. When the Belgian friars came to Kerry in 1860, Fr. FitzGerald was Guardian of Waterford friary. He died at Athlone in 1880.
Belgian friars who were helping to re-establish the English Franciscan Province came to Ireland in 1858 to restore the ailing Irish Province to its former state of observance of the Franciscan Rule. After a short stay in Gorey, they moved to Killarney in 1860. Killarney Franciscan church was opened in 1867, the friary in 1879 and in 1902 this became the Novitiate House of the Irish Province and was so for many decades. The Postulancy for the Irish Province and the Custody of the Immaculate Conception of Britain is in Killarney. To-day the Old Friary is leased to the Dioceses and the friars live in a New Friary nearby.
Franciscan Altar Plate new site and follow the following option: Material Culture of the Mendicant Orders in Ireland