Kilwirra Church Ruins

Kilwirra Church – Medieval Church

St Mary’s Church at Templetown is situated on a small knoll surrounded by farmland, with the Cooley Mountains providing a gorgeous backdrop. The site is associated with the Knights Templar founded in 1118 by Hugh de Payens. Their main purpose was to provide protection to the many pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem. The Knights Templar probably arrived in Ireland after the Anglo-Norman invasion in 1169. The Order was endorsed by the Catholic Church and as a charity they received many gifts. They became a very wealthy organisation and are credited with having started an early form of banking. After the loss of Christian control in the Holy Land the Order was undermined and by 1314 the Order was dissolved.

First Templars Church in Louth built on this site in the 12/13th Century. Hence the local townland now called Templetown.