Youghal Friary

Our Lady of Graces, Dominican Friary

The Dominican Friary was founded by Thomas Fitzmaurice Fitzgerald, 2nd Baron of Desmond, in 1268. The Abbey was initially dedicated to The Holy Cross, but in the 15th century it was rededicated to 'Our Lady of Graces', after a small ivory plaque featuring the Madonna and Child, became the focus of a popular pilgrimage during the 15th century. After the the dissolution of the monasteries in the 16th century, Henry VIII granted the Friary to Walter Raleigh. Walter was probably responsible for the destruction of the abbey. All that remains today is the west gable, with a three light window and a huge remnant of the north pier, belonging to the chancel arch.

There are various accounts attached to the origin of the ivory plaque. It is believed to be made by an Italian craftsman in about 1300. In the 15th century a beautiful silver case was made to hold the plaque. Known as the shrine of the Madonna and Child, it is now on display in St Mary's Church Popes Quay, Cork City. See the link below to view a photo taken by Louise Nugent for her excellent blog about pilgrimage in Ireland.

Situated: The remains of the friary stand in the modern graveyard on the north side of Youghal. On the west side of the main street, straight across from Tescos supermarket.

Discovery Map 81: X1000 7835. Last visit Sept 2019.

Longitude: 7° 51' 16" W

Latitude: 51° 57' 26" N

Google Map.

Photo: Jim Dempsey.

Ref: Hayman, Samuel. “No. 2. The Miraculous Image and Shrine of the Madonna of Youghal.” Ulster Journal of Archaeology, vol. 2, 1854, pp. 118–121. JSTOR,

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