In conjunction with the reopening, the Office of Public Works (OPW) has introduced a free admission scheme for the summer months which is expected to further enhance the profile of the friary.
The 13th century Franciscan Friary has been closed for some time to facilitate major renovation and conservation works.
Although a ruin now, Ennis Friary was once home to over 300 Franciscan Friars and 600 students. It was established in 1240 when the Franciscans were invited to the area and given land by Donncha O’Brien, King of Thomond, who once ruled much of north Munster. The Friary grew in importance to become a renowned centre of learning in Ireland and throughout Europe. The Friary evolved into a large complex, the church surrounded by cloisters, dormitories, workshops, a huge kitchen and refectory. At its height, almost 1000 people lived and worked within its confines.
Commenting on the reopening of the Friary, Mayor of Ennis Councillor Peter Considine said: “The OPW conducted extensive conservation and renovation works at the historic site during 2010 and 2011. While renovation works are still continuing, it has been decided to reopen the Friary and introduce free admission up to the end of October.”
He added: “I would encourage anyone interested in discovering more about the origins and early days of Clare’s County Capital to pay a visit to the Friary during the summer months. Among the Friary remains, visitors can view various 15th and 16th century sculptures, the figure of St Francis displaying the stigmata, an image of Ecce Home, the McMahon tomb and more.”
“Ennis Town Council looks forward to the Friary continuing to play an important role in the local tourism sector, as well as further enhancing Ennis’ reputation as one of the country’s best preserved medieval towns,” concluded the Mayor.
Ennis Friary is open daily from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM up to 31st October. The last admission is 45 minutes before closing. Public car and coach parking facilities are provided close to the site. A visitor leaflet providing background to the Friary has been translated from English into Irish, French, German, Italian and Spanish and is available on site.
For more contact +353-656841020 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mayor of Ennis, Councillor Peter Considine is available for interview on 086-8112248.
Further information from Mark Dunphy of Dunphy PR on 086-8534900.