Fr Augustine Plunkett memorial sss

In the town land of Drishaghaun lies an ancient roughly cut flag of limestone that commemorates Fr Augustine Plunkett, “Fryer of Bellahaunes” who died in 1723. He was born in about 1670 probably in the Plunkett Castle that would lend it’s name to the village of Castleplunkett. Like many nobly born young men he joined the friars of St Augustine in Ballyhaunis where he devoted himself to the order for a time.
Unfortunately, for Plunkett, the relative religious stability in this country came to an abrupt end as Queen Anne came to the throne in England, bringing her intense devotion to the Anglican church with her. This devotion came with a great hatred of Roman Catholicism and saw a reign of persecution hit the churches and monasteries across the land. The abbey at Ballyhaunis was ravaged and Plunkett and his fellow friars were forced to flee. Refuge was sought in his home district where he set up a hospice in Rathmoyle for the sick and destitute.
The stone at Drishaghaun is said to mark the spot where he secretly administered to the faith of locals under the shade of a whitethorn tree, long gone but from which the local name for the monument arises – Crann a Leachta meaning A Tree of the Monument.
While there is no definitive evidence to suggest where Fr Augustine Plunkett is buried it is thought that he was laid to rest in Toberelva graveyard – a short distance from the family castle, where a number of Plunkett head stones from the early 18th century are visible.

Native Ireland