Bishop Terence Albert O'Brien

O'Brien, Terence Albert, Bishop of Emly, was born at Limerick in 1600. He entered the Dominican order, receiving most of his education on the Continent, and returned to Ireland and laboured zealously in his native city. In 1647, on the recommendation of Rinuccini, he was consecrated Bishop of Emly. He was one of the prelates who, in August 1650, offered the protectorate of Ireland to the Duke of Lorraine. In 1651 he was shut up in Limerick when invested by Ireton, and was ceaseless in his exertions to mitigate the horrors of the siege. On the surrender of the city, he was one of the number excepted from amnesty by the victorious Parliamentarians, and was accordingly executed on the 31st of October.

We are told that "he went with joy to the place of execution, and then, with a serene countenance, turning to his Catholic friends who stood in the crowd, inconsolable and weeping, he said to them: 'Hold firmly by your faith and observe its precepts; murmur not against the arrangements of God's providence, and thus you will save your souls. Weep not at all for me, but rather pray that in this last trial of death I may, by firmness and constancy, attain my heavenly reward.' The head of the martyr was struck off, and placed on a spike on the tower." Two other Dominicans, Fathers John Collins and James Wolf, were executed at the same time.


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