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.Mainistir na Feile
'The abbey of the Feale'.

Read about Abbeyfeale in 1837


The town of Abbeyfeale is situated in the west of County Limerick close to the border with County Kerry, the town takes its name from the river Feale and a Cistercian Abbey established by monks from Mellifont, County Louth in 1188, the abbey known as Mainistir Na Feile "The Abbey Of The Feale" was under the patronage of Brian O`Brian. Nothing remains of the Abbey which was situated in the old graveyard in the town.

The Abbey endured for almost four hundred years until 1580 when the Elizabethan plantation was underway, a bloody time for Ireland. British forces under the command of Sir William Pelham, pursuing the retreating Earl of Desmond made a temporary camp at nearby Purt Castle, before leaving they sacked Abbeyfeale and destroyed the Abbey.

I came across an interesting story of how the river Feale acquired its name on Abbeyfeale town's new web site it is reproduced below.

Reproduced from Abbeyfeale on Line.
It is said that the River Feale derives its name from a beautiful young maiden called Fial, who was the wife of local chieftain, Lughaidh Mhic Lotha. Legend has it that one day, while bathing in the river, Fial was startled by the sudden approach of her husband, whom she did not recognize due to the overgrown and secluded nature of the area in which she swam. To hide her modesty, she struck out for the centre of the river but got into difficulty, and drowned before the anguished Lughaidh could reach her.
This touching and tragic story has been passed from generation to generation, down through the centuries and, like many such legends, may very well be based on fact.

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Read about Abbeyfeale in 1837