Archbishop Edward O'Reilly

From A Compendium of Irish Biography, 1878

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O'Reilly, Edward, Archbishop of Armagh, was born in Dublin in 1606, and was educated chiefly on the Continent. He entered the Church, acted as Vicar-General of the diocese of Dublin from 1642 to 1648, when he was deprived of his office through the influence of his opponent, Dr. Walsh. After suffering imprisonment for a time, he was driven into banishment. In April 1657 he was consecrated Archbishop of Armagh. The framework of the Catholic Church was then sadly disjointed in Ireland. The clergy of every grade and order had been driven into banishment: and harbouring a priest was punishable with death, and total forfeiture of property; but one bishop remained in Ireland, and for sixteen years Leinster and Munster had no resident Catholic bishops. He was able to visit his diocese only furtively and at long intervals. In June 1666, while attending a conference of the clergy in Dublin, he was arrested, suffered a rigorous imprisonment in England, and was deported to Belgium. The few remaining years of his life were chiefly occupied in looking after the interests of the Irish seminaries on the Continent. He died at Saumur, in France, March 1669, aged 63.

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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