The Abbey Flourishes

Tobar Padraic, as the abbey is called in the Annals of the Four Masters was founded for Canons Regular and dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Strictly speaking the canons were not monks, but secular priests living in community following the rule attributed to St Augustine. Their primary work was the care of souls. According to tradition only men of noble birth were admitted, a fact which may account for the immense estates which in later years, the abbey possessed.


With the passage of the years the abbey flourished. It had a dependency or cell- the priory of Cross of Holy Cross, in the parish of Kilmore-Erris in North Mayo Holy Cross was founded on the site of an earlier monastery dedicated to St Brendan. A red sandstone inserted in the south transept wall of Ballintubber Abbey bears the inscription “GILLABAR – the servant of Brendan”.