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On the west bank of the Suir, 4 miles (6 km) south of Thurles, stands Holycross Abbey, which was fully restored part of European Architectural Heritage Year 1975.

Founded originally in 1168 for Benedictines by the King of Muster, Donal O’ Brien, the abbey was transferred to the Cistercians about 1182.

A particle of the True Cross was enshrined in the abbey, and Holycross became one of the most frequented places of pilgrimage in Ireland. Suppressed in 1536, the abbey was made over in 1563 to the Earl of Ormode, but through the protection of the Butler family the monks remained at Holycross down to the seventeenth century.