Archbishop Dermot O'Hurley

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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O'Hurley, Dermot, Archbishop of Cashel, was born near Limerick, about 1519. Educated for the priesthood, he resided at Louvain for fifteen years, and held the chair of Canon Law at Rheims for four years. On the 11th September 1581 he was appointed by Gregory XIII. to the see of Cashel. With considerable difficulty he procured passage in a ship from Cherbourg, landed at Skerries, and proceeded to Waterford. For two years government spies sought opportunities to seize him, but their plans were frustrated by the fidelity of his co-religionists. To avoid observation he was obliged, in common with other bishops and priests, to wear a secular dress, and for a considerable time he lay concealed in a secret chamber at Slane Castle. At length he was arrested and brought before the Privy Council for examination. He was horribly tortured. "The executioners placed the Archbishop's feet and calves in tin boots filled with oil; they then fastened his feet in wooden shackles or stocks, and placed fire under them. The boiling oil so penetrated the feet and legs that morsels of the skin, and even flesh, fell off and left the bone bare." The Archbishop resolutely refused to purchase a cessation of his torments by acknowledging the Queen's supremacy in matters of religion. An end was put to his sufferings by his being hanged on a tree outside Dublin, 19th June 1584. The above particulars as to his treatment are said to be incontestibly proved by documents in the public records. He was buried in St. Kevin's, Dublin.

Sources

74. Catholic Faith in Ireland, Memorials of those who Suffered for: Myles O'Reilly. London, 1868.

128b. Episcopal Succession in England, Scotland, and Ireland, from A.D. 1400 to 1875: W. Maziere Brady. 3 vols. Rome, 1877.

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