Esker has been a monastic site since the sixteenth century. It was first inhabited by the Dominicans, who escaped from the Abbey in Athenry during a time of persecution. They left here in the eighteen sixties, and it became for some time the diocesan seminary for Clonfert diocese. The Redemptorists came here in 1901. Because of this long history and tradition Esker is a special place; people constantly comment on the aura they sense here, the feeling of peace and tranquillity.