Abbeyfeale (Mainistir na Feile in Irish meaning 'Abbey of the River Feale') is situated on the River Feale, in the foothills of the Mullaghareik Mountains. It has a population of 1,486 (1996). The name is derived from a Cistercian abbey, founded in 1188 by Brian O'Brien. Later this became a cell to the great house of Monasteranenagh, near Croom.

Its fortunes fluctuated with the ebb and flow of the Tudor Wars. All trace of the abbey has disappeared, but a small remnant of the abbey church was built into the town. The ruined Portrinand Castle is one and a half miles to the north-west near the River Feale. This was a former 14th century Geraldine stronghold.
The main feature of the square in Abbeyfeale is the statue of Fr William Casey. Fr Casey was parish priest from 1883 to 1907 who helped the tenants farmers fight against their landlords. He also became a good friend of Michael Davitt and formed the first Land League group outside of Mayo. The fight was about the "Three F's" - Fair rent, Fixity of tenure and Freedom of the tenant to sell his interest in his holding.There is good trout fishing in the

River Feale and golf courses nearby. Nine miles northwest of Abbeyfeale is Listowel (a thriving town) and nine miles west is the well-known Kerry seaside resort of Ballybunion.

Abbeyfeale itself boasts some thirty pubs, excellent restaurants, horse riding, festivals and picturesque walks. Further a field are the coastal resorts of Ballybunnion (18 miles), and Tralee (25 miles), with its indoor swimming complex, the famous Killarney Lake (29 miles), Crag Caves (10 miles) ……all well worth a visit.


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