Kilcrea Friary

Kilcrea Friary-2036

Kilcrea Friary is near Ovens, west of Cork city. Founded in 1465 for the Observant Franciscans by Cormac Laidir MacCarthy, Lord of Muskerry. It is set in beautiful farmland and is the burial place of Airt Ó Laoghaire (Art O’Leary) , a Roman Catholic, who was an officer in the Austro-Hungarian army.
Having returned home to Rathleigh House near Macroom, Cork, Ireland, Art refused to sell his prize-winning horse to Englishman Abraham Morris, and was thus made an outlaw. Under the Penal Laws of Ireland, Roman Catholics were obliged under law to sell their horse to Protestants if demanded to do so. Morris tracked O’Leary and shot him on his horse on May 4, 1773.
O’Leary’s wife Eileen O’Connell composed the famous Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire or Lament for Art O’Leary, mourning his death and calling for revenge.

As is common in ancient Irish churches and Abbeys, people began using the interior as a graveyard, and there’s a mixture of people buried here; some right up to the present day.

Kilcrea Friary-2043 Kilcrea Friary-2044

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3 Responses to “Kilcrea Friary”

  1. admin says:

    Sorry Danny, I haven’t a clue. I was only visiting the area. I’m from County Cavan. Most churches wouldn’t have this information online. It would be available for inspection in the parish records, but you’d have to go there I’d say.

  2. Danny W Hall says:

    Is there any online listing of burials and the inscriptions? I have several MURPHYs who are allegedly buried there but cannot confirm this.

  3. Chris Morris says:

    Art O’Leary was shot but by soldiers not Morris. I’ve been studying the Morris family for about 20 years so have got a lot of info.

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