Killala became a monastic centre in the fifth century, and Saint Patrick was supposed to have appointed Muredach first Bishop of Killala. Killala figured very prominently in “The Year of the French”.
Killala’s Round Tower was struck by lightning early in the last century, and repaired by Bishop Verschoyle in 1840. Rathfran Friary, N.E. of Killala, is the ruin of a friary founded in 1274 by Sir Richard de Exeter for the Dominicans.
You can travel to Rathfran by going out the Ballycastle road from Killala and turning right after crossing the bridge over the Palmerstown, or Cloonaghmore, river. The friary was burned by Bingham in 1590, but the friars remained in the area until the eighteenth century.
Extract from: "MAYO - Aspects of its Heritage", by Bernard O’Hara.
Published by kind permission of author.