The ruins of a Franciscan Friary, or Abbey, built by the O’Driscoll family in 1460 stands close to the pier. The O’Driscolls were the prominant power in this area and held control of the trading routes for much of the coastline, often by means of piracy. The O’Driscolls were often involved in trading disputes, most notably with the merchants of Waterford. In 1461 the O’Driscolls attacked Waterford and in 1538 they impounded a Portuguese ship carrying wine, bound for Waterford. The traders from Waterford retaliated by burning the Friary on Sherkin and ransacking the island during a 5 day attack.