History Menu Medieval History
Trinity Island priory was founded in 1237, by Cathal OReilly, who granted Trinity Island to the Premonstratensian order "in pure and prepetual alms". It was a daughter house of the abbey of Trinity Island, Lough Key, Co. Roscommon. In 1427 Pope Martin V granted an "indulgence of three years and three quarantines of enjoyed penance" to all who would contribute to the repair of the "priory church of Holy Trinity, Lough Oughter", the penitents were to "devoutly visit the priory on the feast of the assumption". In 1567 the Lord Deputy of Ireland granted Trinity island to Turlogh McCabe.
Dino Massari, Dean of Fermo and Secretary to the Papal Nuncio visited the island in 1646. The abbey was a ruin, but monks still lived on the island. He also refered to a holy well "of the clearest water which as many of the islanders told me had been miracolously discovered in the days of a saintly abbot when his monks were suffering greatly from a want of water".
In August 1651 twoards the of the 12 year war, a synod of the catholic bishops and clergy of the arch-diocese of Armagh was held on Trinity island to discuss how the church would cope with the oppression that would automatically follow the completion of the Cromwellian conquest.
According to the OPW inventory it is situated in the center of a now disused oval graveyard. The west gable and some of the north and south walls of a rectangular church survive on the site. A transept, was added during a 17th century restoration. The famous Romanesque doorway in Kilmore Cathedral (pictured right) was removed from the site in the 1800's. A "grotesque" stone head recorded on the site in 1947 is now in the National Museum, Dublin. In 1975 a dug-out canoe was discovered in the lake close to the island. The island also has a crannog site and a ringfort.
The island is now owned by Tom & Marietta ODowd.