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Founded in the early 7th century, by Saint Fechin, the Abbey was destroyed by fire in the early 12th century.
Turlough Mor OConnor, the High King of Ireland, restored the abbey circa. 1135.
His son, Rory OConnor, constructed the new buildings and also lived the last 15 years of his life at the abbey, dying in 1198.
The monastery adopted the Augustinian rule some years later.
The present church and possibly the fragmentary cloister, where the monks worked and prayed, belong to the rebuilding of the early 13th century.
The north doorway of the church, and the elaborate doorways door ways that open onto the cloister from the east range of the monastery may date back to the O'Connor rebuilding.
The doorway with two fine windows on either side belongs to the chapter house, where the monasterys daily business was conducted as well as a chapter of the Rule being read each day.
This was also where the community gathered to confess their sins publicly.
The sculpture in the abbey, which is some of the finest in Ireland, suggests links to French styles of the period.