Meiler de Bermingham, the 2nd Lord of Athenry, founded the Dominican abbey in 1241. The abbey had several new buildings such as a chapel and refectory, later built from 1265 to 1340.
As with most abbey and friary’s throughout Ireland, it went through great times of turmoil during the the Protestant Reformation but it managed to survive during this period. However it was later desecrated and burned during the Mac an Iarla Wars of the 1570’s, and was finally vandalised by Cromwellians in the 1650’s.
The remains largely consist of the church nave, chancel and a northern aisle and transept. In addition, there are some tombs to be found inside dating from the 13th to 15th centuries.