Moyne Abbey is one of the most impressive ecclesiastical ruins in Mayo and a National Monument. It was founded by the Burke family as a Franciscan friary and consecrated in 1462 and is located north of Ballina on the west side of Killala Bay.
The abbey lies on the Monasteries of the Moy greenway and cycle route that connects Ballina and Killala.
Like its neighbour, Rosserk Abbey, it was burnt by Sir Richard Bingham, Elizabeth I of England’s governor of Connacht, in 1590 in reformationist zeal. The friary was built in the late Irish Gothic style and has extensive ruins, consisting of a church and domestic buildings situated around a central cloister. Its west doorway is a seventeenth century insertion, and its east window displays fine switchline tracery.
Today, over 550 years since its consecration, a very large part of the original structure of abbey stands intact in the present-day landscape of North Mayo.
Access to the Moyne Abbey site
As point of note to intending visitors, Moyne Abbey is not currently directly accessible from the roadside as to date, it has not been developed as a modern tourist site. However visitor access is currently available via a right-of-way across private land. For these reasons, visitors should note that there may unfortunately be difficulties in accessing the site. This is especially relevant for visitors with impaired mobility.