The heartland of Loughcrew belonged to the Plunkett family. St Oliver Plunkett, Ireland’s most recent saint, was born and reared here. His heroic defence of the Faith as Archbishop of Armagh led to his martyrdom and recent canonisation.
His family church still stands in Loughcrew and is the focus of devotion to St. Oliver. The oldest part of the church building was formerly a Tower House, the seat of the Plunketts until Sir William Petty installed his brother-in-law, William Naper, in about 1655.