(1729–1802), Capuchin friar and controversialist. Educated in France, O'Leary returned to Cork in 1771, where he published pamphlets defending the oath of allegiance, repudiating the threatened French invasion of 1779, and denouncing the Whiteboys. An Essay on Toleration (1780) made the case for liberty of conscience. Although he supported the Volunteer movement, his loyalist writings earned him a secret government pension, to which was added a further £100 per year from 1784, in exchange for information on the affairs of the Catholic Committee. In 1789 he was transferred to London as chaplain to the Spanish embassy.
From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: European History.