Askeaton & its Abbey
Askeaton, is one of Ireland's oldest towns, it is steeped in history and tradition. Built on the banks of the river Deel, it lies about two miles upstream of the Shannon Estuary. The town gets its name from the ancient Irish "Eas Geiphtine", "Eas" being the Irish for waterfall and "Geiphtine," the name of a tribe that lived on the waterfall, as far back as pre-Christian times.
The 4th Earl of Desmond founded the Franciscan Friary, or the Abbey which it is more commonly known, about 1389. The abbey is built on the banks of the river Deel and is still in good condition, some of its features include its cloisters, the beautiful transepts, the Stephenson mural tablet, the east window, the carving of St Francis and the chapter room, which is the final resting place of two Irish martyrs.
The abbey is also the burial place of the earls of Desmond. On Oct 1579 after failing to take Askeaton Castle, sir Nicholas Malby attacked the abbey, set fire to the town of Askeaton, in the abbey he put a number of monks to death. In 1627 the friars returned to live among the ruins of the abbey. The catholic confederate forces, who had taken control of the castle in 1642, helped to repair parts of the structure and it was re-established in 1643.part of the abbey was used as the local parish church up to 1847 until it was accidentally destroyed by fire.