Original Friary

Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo in the West of Ireland

Of the original Friary structure all that now remains are: (a) the west wall (with the two lower windows and part of the doorway), (b) the north wall (excluding the porch and sacristy), with at least parts of the windows (the date of the present east wall is uncertain); (c) the recently discovered window from the south wall, together with some of the items on display. The origins of the present cemetery, of course, would date back to the foundation of the Friary.

The oldest existing sketch of the Friary is dated 1791. Documents mention extensive Friary lands at the time of the foundation (150 acres or more), but just as the buildings suffered during the persecutions (from the time of King James 1), so too most of the land was confiscated. Around the Friary now there are about 15 acres (taking in the graveyard, gardens, car parks and two fields) and these make up a separate townland called Friarsground, with the main road as one boundary and the river(s) the other.

The Ballyhaunis Friary published in 1996 by GREENSprint. Rev. John O’Connor, O.S.A, compiled it and extracts are reproduced here by kind permission of the Augustinian Order.