Sligo Abbey, Sligo City

Sligo Abbey, Sligo City

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Although commonly known as Sligo Abbey, the correct title for Sligo's only surviving megalithic structure is The Convent of the Holy Cross and was in fact a Dominican Friary.
 
The difference between an Abbey and a Friary being that where Friar preachers live in a Friary and invited the general public to worship in their church, Monks would have lived in an Abbey and would have generally confined their vocation to worship through prayer and meditation.
 
Sligo Abbey (as it is most commonly referred) was built around 1252-1253 by the Norman Baron and leading Geraldine of that era Maurice Fitzgerald who is also credited with being the "real founder of Sligo".
 
Maurice Fitzgerald introduced into Ireland the two great religious orders, the Franciscans and the Dominicans, though it is undoubtedly as the conqueror of Connaught in 1235 that he is best remembered.
 
The Friars were in residence at The Convent of the Holy Cross for five very turbulent centuries, until they left in 1760, moving their Order to the nearby Holy Cross Friary in High Street which survives to this day.

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