The letter of Stratford Eyre, of Eyrecourt, dated 3rd March 1731-2, to Primate Boulter tells how many Catholic landed proprietors in Galway, even though some of them had become Protestants, had set land to Franciscans, Dominicans, Augustinians and Carmelites. Many members of these orders by registering themselves as secular priests succeeded in living in the country. After 1720 persecution abating somewhat they began to collect together again and to form small communities. "They set up as agriculturists, rented a farm, took a few novices under the pretence of 'servant boys' and with the aid of alms collected in the country round about, they managed to live". Stratford Eyre writes to Boulter: "The friars of Athenry live at Esker near two miles from the Abbey on the estate of Thomas Power Daly, a Papist... The Protestants of this County are in by means of the power, influence and strength, the number and intolerable insolence of Papists who possess entire parishes and not one Protestant family in some of them". Father Corr remarks that after the suppression of the school at Bresk, Father Anthony McHugo and a lay brother remained in hiding and some years later were joined by three friars from Spain and by others from Louvain, and settled at Esker in the house, situated between two lakes, which is the site of the present monastery. In 1837 there were seven friars in the monastery. There was a fine cruciform church at the rear of the school which was replaced in 1844 by the present church. The old church was converted into a school. In 1857Esker became the Novice House of the Irish Dominicans but was closed about 1889. Shortly after the Friary was destroyed by fire, nothing remaining but the walls of the building.

In 1901 it was taken over by the Redemptorist Fathers as a House of Studies, a new wing being added to the old seminary. An adjoining sandhill called "Dominic's Hill" keeps green the memory of the friars of Esker. Father Corr in his article reproduces the wording of the admission card on the occasion of the consecration of the present church in 1844:-

The Consecration of the Dominican Church of the
Convent of Esker, Athenry, Co Galway,
Will take place
On Thursday the 15th of August 1844
The Solemn High Mass
On the occasion
Will commence at 12 o'clock
The Very Rev. Theobald Mathew
Will preach an appropriate sermon
After which he will
Administer the Temperance Pledge
Tickets of Admission 5s.

The proceeds of the day will be assigned as follows, viz.:- towards the building of the college and agricultural school of the Convent of Esker - the providing with trades 26 boys - the clothing of 50 poor children, and to assist in the supporting of One Hundred Paupers, who are daily fed at the Convent". The Editor acknowledges the Horary of the Esker College found by Dr. Long, C.Ss.R., at the present Esker Monastery:

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