Boyle, Abbey of

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Former Cistercian abbey on the river Boyle, within the Diocese of Elphin, County Roscommon, Ireland (Latin, Monasterium Buellense; Gaelic, Mainistir na Búille ). Originally the Celtic foundation Áth Da Loarg of Bishop Mac Cainne, it was taken over by cistercian monks from mellifont (in 1161), who had first established themselves at Greallach Da Iach in 1148. Many of its abbots became bishops; four of its monks died for the faith between 1580 and 1585. There is no evidence that the famous poet Donnchadh Mór Ó Dálaigh was abbot there. From it were founded Assaroe (1178) in the Diocese of Raphoe and Knockmoy (1190) in the Diocese of Tuam. At the time of its suppression (before 1569) it consisted of a church (consecrated in 1218), a belfry, a cloister, a hall, a dormitory, a cemetery, and a round tower (a survival of the Celtic foundation), and extensive lands (frequently mentioned in state papers dating from the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th centuries).

Bibliography: j. m. canivez, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 10:315316. m. v. ronan, Irish Martyrs of the Penal Laws (London 1935) 199, 201. m. o'flanagan, ed., Letters Containing Information Relative to the Antiquities of the County of Roscommon, 2 v. in 1 (Bray, Ire. 1927) 1:204206, 224236. g. macniocaill, Na manaigh liatha in Éirinn, 1142c.1600 (Dublin 1959).

[c. mcgrath]