The ruins of the Moor Abbey Galbally are situated at the western end of the Glen of Aherlow valley. The Moor Abbey was founded in 1204 by the King of Thomond, Donough Gairbreach O’ Brien. Who was the most important layman in the religious life of his time in Ireland. Donough founded several houses of which the most famous was Holycross Abbey.
The Moor Abbey took three hundred years to complete. It was burned four times during the course of building, by marauding armies of Desmond and Ormond. It was burned to the ground in 1472 and rebuilt again in 1473.
At the dissolution, the abbey and its lands were granted to John, Earl of Desmond. Some of the friars remained there under his protection until the Sir Henry Sydney attacked and killed the remaining few in 1568.
The abbot Mulrooney and two other friars returned in 1959 but were surprised by a raid of Sir Humphey Gilberts cavalry and took refuge in the tower. Gilberts men then burned the Moor Abbey to the ground and now only their ruined church remain.
In 1568, the Desmond chiefs, James Fitzmaurice and John Fitzjohn met in the abbey ruins to arrange a campaign against the English. However, they failed in their mission.
The foundations of the friary can still be traced to the north of the ruined church. The tower is raised on the arches, dividing the nave and chancel. There were no windows on the north side as it was covered by the cloister and claustral buildings.
On the eastern side are foundations which are believed to be the ruins of the sacristy and day room with accommodation for twenty friars. To the north lay the kitchen, refectory and offices.
In 1921 English forces tried to blow up the tower but were unsuccessful.
It is approximately two miles from Corderry Farm. You will pass the Moor Abbey Galbally on your way to the Farm if travelling via Galbally or Lisvarrinane.
Take some time to explore here and sit and relax on one of the picnic benches