The Silver Lining In That Darkest Of Clouds
Although priceless sacred furnishings and
irreplaceable manuscripts, which the friars had carefully rescued from the friary were later seized, debased and
destroyed, the monks, though heartbroken, were unharmed.
Every one of the forty friars had successfully evacuated the monastery ahead of Niall Garbh's
'The Annals Of The Kingdom Of Ireland'
The displaced friars of Donegal Abbey
later facilitated the writing of a manuscript called 'The Annals of the
Kingdom of Ireland'. The history of ancient Ireland was transcribed, salvaged and
preserved for future generations.
Br Michael O'Cleary image, Donegal Castle
The work became known as 'The Annals of the Four Masters' after the four learned historians and scribes who compiled it.
- *Mícheál Ó Cléirigh
- Cú Choigríche Ó Cléirigh
- Cú Choigríche Ó Duibhgeannáin
- Fearfeasa Ó Maoil Chonaire
*Brother Michael O'Cleary, from Kilbarron Castle near Abbey Assaroe, who risked his life traveling Ireland, transcribing the country's key historical events.
A Wonderful Gift To Humanity
The 'Annals of the Kingdom of Ireland' were completed in 1636 in a place, or places of refuge either near the river Drowes and Bundoran, and/or in the vicinity of Lough Eske and Killymard just outside Donegal Town. Solemnly signed by its four authors, the manuscript was then shipped out of Ireland for safe-keeping in Europe.
It is thanks to these heroic Celtic patriots...
- Donegal Friary's Franciscans
- The four Learned Masters, and
- Brother Michael
...that an authentic record of Ireland's ancient
Celtic and pre Celtic history is still available to the world today.
Partially sourced from 'The Rise and Fall of the Irish Franciscan Monasteries, and Memoirs of the Irish Hierarchy in the Seventeenth Century'
by Rev. Charles Patrick Meehan M.R.I.A., 1870 (Link opens new window).