The History of Abbeyfeale
Abbeyfeale is a small country town on the Limerick Kerry border. it is situated in a valley in the foothills of the Mullaghareirk mountains. It is known as a market town with a population of over 2,000. A statue of our most famous citizen Fr. Casey, Parish Priest from 1883 to 1907, stands proudly in the square welcoming all to Abbeyfeale.
It is said that the River Feale derives its name from a beautiful young maiden called Fial, who was the wife of local chieftain, Lughaidh Mhic Lotha, and drowned in the river while bathing. In 1188 a band of monks from Mellifont Abbey in Co. Louth, built a monastery on the banks of the Feale under the patronage of Briain O`Brian. The Cistercian Abbey - known as Mainistir Na Feile "The Abbey Of The Feale" - was situated in the middle of the old graveyard in The Square.
Sadly, no trace of the Abbey now remains. However, the stories of the fair Fial, bathing in the river, and of the humble monks, eking out a meager existence in their modest Abbey by the river bank, have survived and ultimetly given our town the beautiful name that it retains to this day. Mainistir Na Feile - The Abbey Of The Feale - Abbeyfeale.