Athenry Chapter

It is recorded that at a Chapter held at Athenry in 1482 there 280 friars present ; at another held in the same place in 1524 there were 360 present.

They took a prominent part in that vindication of the right of Public Catholic Worship and suffered for it accordingly under the Cromwellian regime. In the unfortunate disputes that took place among the Catholics, they, with only one exception, took the part of the Nuncio Rinuecini and the Old Irish Party. They were able for the first time after a hundred years to go about publicly in the habit of the Order. It was during this short period of liberty, barely stretching over eight years, that the Dominican Nuns of Galway were founded. Galway is thus the mother house of all the communities of Dominican Nuns in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and many in South Africa.

The Order could count three hundred and sixty members in the time of James II. The Dominican Nuns had returned from exile and had a flourishing community in Galway again.

But the Battle of the Boyne, which again crushed the hopes of Irish Catholics, brought in its train renewed sufferings to the Mendicant Friars.


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