Murrisk Heritage

Murrisk Abbey, now in ruins, was established in 1457 under Papal permission by an Augustinian friar, Hugh O’Malley.

He came to Murrisk from an already established Augustinian monastery in Banada, Co. Sligo.

The Abbey continued to exist from its foundation for about two hundred years until, like hundreds of other similar monastic settlements, it went into decline with the general suppression of the monasteries in the 16th and 17th centuries together with the enforcement of the Penal Laws in the early 18th century. Tradition has it that at least one Augustinian friar took refuge in this Abbey in the aftermath of the 1798 rebellion and there is a record of one friar living here in 1801.

The National Famine Memorial

The National Millennium Park was constructed in 2000 to form an appropriate location and surrounding for the National Famine Memorial. This magnificent bronze sculpture by John Behan commemorates the Great Famine of the 1840s when over one million Irish people starved to death and a similar number were forced to emigrate, mainly to England and America. As well as the memorial itself, there are still visible traces of the Famine clearly evident in the landscape of the mountain side above the village where the old potato ridges (lazy beds) and hand built dry stone walls, built as relief schemes, remain to this day.

Murrisk Pier

Murrisk Pier was constructed by the Congested Districts Board in 1893/94 to encourage the development of a local fishing industry. The industry flourished up to the mid 1960s before going into decline . The pier is now used for inshore fishing and leisure activities.

Marian Shrine

The Marian Shrine is situated on the main road in the centre of the village and was built during the Marian Year in 1954.

Murrisk Fishermen’s Memorial

Many of the boats and trawlers that worked from the Pier in the past right up until the 1970s are commemorated in the Fishermen’s Memorial at the end of the Barrier, which was constructed by the Murrisk Development Association in 2004 -2005. This monument was erected to honour the contributions of this traditional seafaring fishing community. It is a place of peace and reflection where people remember all those who worked on the boats that fished out of Murrisk.

Mass Rock

In penal times attending Roman Catholic services was not permitted and worshippers would gather secretly in the open air at places offering good vantage points from which unwelcome visitors could easily be spotted in plenty of time. Villagers of Murrisk would gather at a spot in Bellateen on the hillside above the village. Every year in August a memorial service is conducted at the traditional Mass Rock to remember the past.