Situated on the western bank of the River Shannon, Meelick friary was founded in 1414. It was ruined in 1559, but the friars restored it, and occupied it more or less until the last friar died in 1852. This lovely church standing in the midst of the most tranquil countryside is now in the care of the Clonfert diocese.
Meelick is in a beautiful setting on the edge of wetland next to the river. Glimpses of swans and other birds can be got a short distance away and horses sometimes graze nearby. Some trees and shrubs grow around the perimeter. Liverworts mat the ground and flowers like red dead-nettle, thale-cress, petty spurge, great mullein, hawksbeards, black medick, snapdragon and willowherbs can be seen among the gravestones.
Still a functioning church, this historic friary is usually open to the public and both it and its grounds are ideal for quiet prayer and solitude. It is situated next to the River Shannon Callows Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and proposed Natural Heritage Area (pNHA) and the Middle Shannon Callows Special Protection Area (SPA).
The tranquillity of Meelick will surely help you to quieten down as the only sounds are those of the wind, an insect buzzing as it goes about its work, perhaps some birds, or a distant sound of farm machinery. Let these sounds be, and reflect upon the following words of scripture:
But I am like a growing olive tree in the house of God.
I trust in the goodness of God for ever and ever.
Psalm 52, 8
- St. Francis