The Beginning

In 1268, a group of Franciscan friars descended to the valley of the river Gaine, into an area surrounded by water and marshes.

The river Gaine rises near Knockdrin and flows northwest into Lough Derravaragh County Westmeath. This remote area was well suited to a life of solitude and reflection and so it was that it was here, in the Multyfarnham area under the patronage of William Delamer a local Norman landowner that the friars set up their humble abode.

It is likely that this first group of Franciscan friars were also Normans. At a later stage, their patron provided them with a church and friary house. Under the Delamer patronage, which lasted through generations, the friary at Multyfarnham flourished.

Centuries later the Nugent’s of Delvin and Donore provided protection for the friars in Multyfarnham. This most venerable Franciscan friary, which has existed for over 750 years, provides a rich historic tapestry.