Aghaboe has been a well known place for 2000 years. It lies four miles north west of Ballacolla on the R434 Durrow to Borris-in-Ossory road, still surrounded by green fields which gave it it’s name. Aghadh Bho (Chainnigh); the grazing field of the cow of Canice. St. Canice, originally from the North of Ireland founded a monastery here in the sixth century. During Canice’s life time Aghaboe became well known.
When St. Canice died in 600AD the monastic community of Kilkenny (Cill Chainnigh) which he had founded laid claim to his body. The Aghaboe monks were determined to keep it. A confrontation was imminent, the legend relates when both parties returned to pray they found two identical coffins so one was borne to Kilkenny and the other remained at Aghaboe.
A shallow depression occurred lying on the surface of a field northwest of the church, this is claimed to be the oldest visible sign at Aghaboe. When the Normans arrived, and with them the religious orders, a new era dawned for Aghaboe. Finian Fitzpatrick erected a monastery and granted it to the Dominicans who served there for four hundred years., although surpassed in 1540 by Henry VIII during reformation.
The present monastic ruins are part of that great Dominican foundation. Some years ago the ruins were covered with ivy, crumbling and falling.