Claregalway Abbey 1st Ever Drone View Claregalway Friary Claregalway, Ireland The monastery was commissioned in about 1252 by John de Cogan, a Norman knight who took possession of the area following the Norman conquest of Connacht.The Franciscan community at the abbey lived under the patronage of the de Cogan clan until 1327, when John Magnus de Cogan gave them the building and surrounding lands. In return for this favour, the monks were asked to present a rose to de Cogan and his descendants on the annual feast day of St. John the Baptist (June 24).The community flourished until the mid-16th century, when the English Reformation disrupted the Catholic establishment in Ireland. From that time on, the monks of Claregalway struggled to keep the abbey viable against political and economic forces.The cloister within the abbey ruinsOn July 11, 1538, forces under the command of Lord Leonard Gray ransacked and looted the abbey while on march to Galway. In 1570, Queen Elizabeth I granted possession of the monastery to Sir Richard de Burgo. In 1589, the monastery buildings were turned into a barracks under the administration of the English provincial governor, Sir Richard Bingham.During the reign of King James, the property was given to the Earl of Clanrickarde. By 1641, the Franciscans had reoccupied the abbey, but the building was in poor repair and the community lacked the ability to renovate it.