Dominican Priory

On my journey home from a wet weekend in Mayo, I stopped at Tulsk Priory, Roscommon. The weather was in complete contrast, beautiful blue skies and gorgeous sunlight. The Dominican Priory, dedicated to St Patrick, was founded here in 1488 by either by Fedlimid mac Fedlimid O'Conor or Fedlimid MacDowell. The Priory was probably in ruins by the time Sir Richard Bingham built a tower house here in 1595. From the roadside the ruin looked quite substantial, until I realised they included the tower house and 18th century Grace mausoleum.

The tall stucture to the right, in the image below, is the tower house, with the south transept extending out to the left. Only fragments remain of the north and south walls and the tower house is standing the chancel. Two pointed archways in the south wall of the nave, lead into the south transept. There are a number of 18th century memorial plaques, bearing crucifixion scenes, dotted around the Priory . One of them bears the Conor Roe Coat of arms, another bears the O'Kelly arms.

The Conor Rua built a castle, at the rath, on the opposite side of the road to the Priory. In the southwest corner of the transept is a tomb dated 1679. A large number of dressed stones from the Priory, have been reused as gravemarkers in the surrounding graveyard. An excellent site to wander around, with some hidden gems, hopefully you have the time to find them all.

O'Kelly plaque

Crucifixion plaque over O'Conor Roe coat of arms

The Grace mausoleum 1868

Crucifixion and arms above the O'Kelly plaque

Situated: In the centre on the town on the west side of the N5.

Discovery Map 33: M 8325 8099. Last visit Jun 2017.

Longitude: 8° 15' 15" W

Latitude: 53° 46' 42" N

Google Map.

Photos: Jim Dempsey

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