Bishop Patrick O'Hely

O'Hely, Patrick, Bishop of Mayo, was a native of Connaught. Having in his youth entered the order of St. Francis, he proceeded to the Continent, and after a residence in Spain and Italy, was, in July 1576, appointed to the see of Mayo. In returning to Ireland with some clerical associates, he had much difficulty in eluding the vigilance of the English cruisers, and landed at Dingle, in Kerry, to be almost immediately arrested and brought before Sir William Drury, at Kilmallock (August 1578). When questioned, he avowed his office and his mission, and declared himself ready, if necessary, to die for his faith. With Father O'Rorke, he was sentenced to be put to the torture, and then hanged in the presence of the garrison. We are told that "the two prisoners were first placed on the rack, their arms and feet were beaten with hammers, so that their thigh-bones were broken, and sharp iron points and needles were cruelly thrust under their nails, which caused an extreme agony of suffering." After this they were hanged, 22nd August 1578, and their bodies were allowed to remain suspended on the gallows for fourteen days.


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.