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Edmund O'Reilly

(c. 1598—1669) Roman Catholic archbishop of Armagh


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(1598–1669), Catholic ecclesiastic. O'Reilly studied at Douai and Antwerp and became vicar-general of Dublin in 1636. During the Confederate War, he became one of Rinuccini's strongest supporters, his opposition to advocates of accommodation with the king leading him into complex intrigues, as agent for Owen Roe O'Neill, with the parliamentarian forces. These contacts may explain why he was banished rather than executed after being tried and convicted in 1653 for allegedly encouraging the massacre of Protestant prisoners in Wicklow. Appointed archbishop of Armagh in 1657, he reorganized the church in Ulster during 1659–61, but was forced to leave Ireland due to the particular hostility, encouraged by his old opponent Peter Walsh, with which he was regarded by the Restoration government. Ormond allowed O'Reilly to attend the convention of Catholic clergy in Dublin in 1666, but had him arrested and deported when the meeting failed to approve the Remonstrance.

From The Oxford Companion to Irish History in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: European History.


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