In 1224, the first Dominican arrived in Cork, seven years after Pope Honorius III approved of the Order of Preachers by a papal bull. Within five years, the friars constructed a church called Sancta Maria de Insula (St. Mary of the Isle). They moved several times during the next six hundred years. Their most challenging times were in the mid-16th century when they were persecuted by Henry VIII. The king confiscated their property and belongings. This building became their monastery in the early 19th century. There are currently eight friars living in this community plus four brothers in the novitiate program.