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Wednesday, 24 July 2024
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Bl Irish Martyrs


Pope John Paul II, on September 27th, 1992, declared blessed seventeen Irish martyrs, men and women, cleric and lay, put to death for their Catholic faith between 1579 and 1654 . . .

Bl. Patrick O'Healy, bishop of Mayo, and Bl. Conrad O'Rourke, both Franciscans, were hanged in 1579.

Bl. Matthew Lambert, a baker, and three sailors: Bl. Robert Mayler, Bl. Edward Cheevers, and Bl. Patrick Cavanaugh  were hanged, drawn and quartered on
5th July, 1581.

Bl. Margaret Ball, a widow, died of ill treatment in prison (1584), betrayed by her own son to further his political ambition. Bl. Margaret lived the rest of her life in prison rather than disown her allegiance to the pope.

Bl. Dermot Hurley, archbishop of Cashel, was suspected of knowing of a plot by the pope and the Spanish. His feet were put into metal boots, filled with oil, and roasted over a fire. Since he had nothing to confess, he was finally given a choice between denying the pope or hanging. He was hanged at Haggen Green on 20th June, 1584.

A secular priest, Bl. Maurice McKenraghty, chaplain to the Earl of Desmond, was executed in 1585.
Bl. Dominic Collins, a Jesuit lay brother, died by hanging in 1602.
B1. Conor O'Devany, a Franciscan, bishop of Down and Connor, was hanged, drawn and quartered in 1612, and
B1. Patrick O'Loughran, former chaplain to the O’Néill, was hanged in the same year. Here

Bl. Francis Taylor was a prominent merchant, alderman and Mayor of Dublin, where he was martyred in 1642.
B1. Terence O'Brien, the Dominican bishop of Emly, was executed by hanging in 1651, as was fellow Dominican Bl. Peter Higgins.
The last two of the group to hang were B1. John Kearney, a Franciscan priest, and Bl. William Tirry, an Augustinian priest, in 1654.

Margaret Ball and Francis Taylor

Dominic Collins

Martyrdom in Ireland