History of Killarney, Co. Kerry

killarney historyKillarney is based in Co. Kerry and is steeped with local folklore and history. Religious settlements in particular have been influential and one of the first recorded pieces of history in the area. The monastery on Innisfallen Island in 640 by St. Finian the Leper. It was said to have been occupied for approximately 850 years.

It is said that the townland of Aghadoe began as a pagan religious site.  ‘Ogham stones’ mark the first seventh century which is clear evidence of Aghadoe being used as a important religious pagan site. If forklore is to believed, St. Finian founded the monastery at Aghadoe in the sixth or perhaps seventh century. In 939 AD the first written record of a monastery dates from the Annals of Innisfallen where the Aghadoe monastery is referred to as the “Old Abbey.”

In 1169 the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland occured when the Normans built the famous Parkavonear Castle, also at Aghadoe. Another well known landmark from the 15 century is Ross Castle. It was built on the lake shore in the late 15th century by local ruling clan the O’Donoghues Mor (Ross).

In 1448 the popular Muckross Abbey was founded as a Franciscan friary for the Observantine Franciscans by Donal McCarthy Mor. Unfortunately, the abbey was burned down by Cromwellian forces under General Ludlow in 1654. Today you can still see the ruins of the building.

Tourism is popular in this southern Irish town with many choosing the area as the perfect headquarters for Ireland vacations. The town has plenty to do for young and old alike.

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