Investment into the eight century monastic site Monaincha Abbey will reignite national and international interest in the area according to Cllr Michael Smith.
Monaincha, located just a few miles from the town of Roscrea, was once one of medieval Ireland’s most important pilgrim destinations.
The church on the site was built in the twelfth century, richly carved and has a weathered high cross outside the door. Built on a raised site, the only access was through a bog or lake, until it was drained around 1780. The island was the focus of famous pilgrimages and was once known as the thirty-first wonder of the world.
The only way to the abbey now is through an old cart horse road which is in great need of significant upgrading. The County Council has submitted a number of proposals to the Department of Rural Development and Tourism and Monaincha is one of the leading projects for funding.
Investment in this old road together with proper signage, denoting the various unique historical aspect of the site are included in the project. It will highlight the historical and ecclesiastical features of this ancient monument and create a new and safe walkway on the outskirts of Roscrea.
“I believe also that it will reignite national and international interest in this area. Coillte, and the Office of Public Works as well as the landowners and residents are giving their wholehearted support to this development,” said Cllr Smith.
“I am confident that the proposal for funding will be successful and this national treasure will once again be opened up to the public in a way commensurate with the noble history of this sacred place. History and hope will rhyme.”
“All of us who are proud of our home place will have an opportunity to retreat to a secluded picturesque place to reflect on the history of Monaincha Abbey,” he added.