The Franciscan friary of Irrelagh, now known as Muckross Abbey was founded for the Observatine Franciscans about 1448 by Daniel McCarthy Mor. The friars remained in occupation at Muckross at least intermittently and despite the dissolution of the monasteries until Cromwellian times. The present well-preserved ruins include a church with a wide, square tower and fine windows, and a vaulted cloister with an arcade of arches around a square courtyard. In the middle of the courtyard grows an ancient yew tree, said traditionally to be as old as the Abbey. Muckross Abbey was the burial place of local chieftains, and in the 17th and 18th centuries, the three Gaelic poets, Geoffrey O’Donoghue, Aodhagan O’Rathaille and Eoghan Rua O’Suilleabhain. The graveyard in the grounds surrounding the Abbey is still in use with a number of burials there each year.
Muckross Abbey is open to the public and is just a short walk from the car park on the N71