Donegal Friary

The ruins of Donegal Friary in Donegal town, County Donegal, Ireland. There was once a tunnel from here to the castle. The first Hugh Roe O'Donnell was buried here in 1505. The currently active Franciscan Friary has a web page about these ruins.

Ruins of Donegal Friary. There are remnants of stone walls with arches that may have been windows or doors. There is a gravel path  through one of the arches with graves to the right hand side covered with green grass.

The University College, Cork has the history of the building of this monastery as recorded in the Annals of the Four Masters. It may be found on their web site at and at

Annal M1474


THE AGE OF CHRIST, 1474. The Age of Christ, one thousand four hundred seventy-four.


The monastery of Donegal was commenced by the O'Donnell, i.e. by Hugh Roe, son of Niall Garve O'Donnell, and his wife, Finola, the daughter of O'Brien (Conor-na-srona), and was granted by them to God and the friars of St. Francis for the prosperity of their own souls, and that the monastery might be a burial-place for themselves and their descendants; and they not only granted this, but also conferred many other gifts upon them.


O'Donnell, Hugh Roe, the son of Niall Garv, son of Turlough of the Wine, Lord of Tirconnell, Inishowen, Kinel-Moen, and Lower Connaught, died; a man who had obtained hostages from the people of Fermanagh, Oriel, Clannaboy, and the Route, and from the O'Kanes, and also the English and Irish of Connaught, with the exception of Mac William of Clanrickard, who, however, did not go unrevenged for his disobedience, for O'Donnell frequently entered his territory, and left not a quarter of land from the River Suck upwards, and from Sliabh O n-Aedha westwards, which he did not make tributary to him. This O'Donnell was the full moon of the hospitality and nobility of the North, the most jovial and valiant, the most prudent in war and peace, and of, the best jurisdiction, law, and rule, of all the Gaels in Ireland in his time; for there was no defence made of the houses in Tirconnell during his time, except to close the door against the wind only; the best protector of the Church and the learned; a man who had given great alms in honour of the Lord of the Elements; the man by whom a castle was first raised and erected at Donegal, that it might serve as a sustaining bulwark for his descendants; and a monastery for Friars de Observanti‚ in Tirconnell, namely, the monastery of Donegal; a man who had made many predatory excursions around through Ireland; and a man who may be justly styled the Augustus of the North-west of Europe. He died, after having gained the victory over the Devil and the world, and after Extreme Unction and good Penance, at his own fortress in Donegal, on Friday, the 5th of the Ides of July, in the seventy-eighth year of his age, and forty-fourth of his reign, and was interred in the monastery of Donegal.

This page is on a slow server. Please be patient while the pictures load.

Copyright 2005-2006,