Bishop of Mayo

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The Bishop of Mayo was an episcopal title which took its name after Mayo in Ireland. After the Reformation, the title was briefly used by the Church of Ireland until 1559 and by the Roman Catholic Church until 1631. With each denomination, the bishopric was united to the archbishopric of Tuam.[1]


The diocese of Mayo was not established at the Synod of Rathbreasail in 1111, but was recognised at the Synod of Kells in 1152. A bishop of Mayo, probably Gille Ísa Ua Maílín, took the oath of fealty to King Henry II of England in 1172.

In 1202, the papal legate, Cardinal John, had the see of Mayo united to the archbishopric of Tuam. In 1216, Pope Innocent III heard the case in Rome, and gave sentence in favour of Tuam. His sentence was maintained by papal legate James in 1221, and was finally confirmed by Pope Gregory IX on 3 July 1240. However, in the first half of the fifteenth century, Mayo appears to have gained independence with further bishops of Mayo being appointed, although their position is unclear and may have been assistant or suffragan bishops.[2]

Following the Reformation, there were parallel successions in the Church of Ireland and the Roman Catholic Church. Circa 1559, the see was united to the archbishopric of Tuam in the Church of Ireland. The Roman Catholic see continued until the early seventeenth century, when, after a long vacancy, it was united to the archdiocese of Tuam in 1631.

List of bishops[edit]

Pre-Reformation bishops[edit]

Pre-Reformation Bishops of Mayo
From Until Incumbent Notes
before 1172 1184 Gille Ísa Ua Maílín Died in office
unknown 1210 Céle Ua Dubhthaig Died in office
c.1210 1216 ? Patricius Elected circa 1210; resigned 1216, and possibly died in the same year
1216 1428 See held by the archbishops of Tuam
1428 (William Prendergast) Appointed 16 July 1428, but did not take effect
1430 1436 Nicholas 'Wogmay' Appointed 17 July 1430; died after October 1436
1432 1439 Martinus Campania, O.Cist. Appointed 29 April 1432; acted as a suffragan bishop in the ecclesiastical principalities of Münster and Utrecht; resigned before 31 August 1439
1439 1448 Aodh Ó hUiginn, O.S.A. Appointed 31 August 1439; deprived before January 1448; died 1478
1448 1457 No bishops appointed
1457 1470 Simon de Duren Appointed 12 August 1457; acted as a suffragan bishop in the ecclesiastical principalities of Münster and Worms in 1461; died 28 August 1470
1470 1493 No bishops appointed

Bishops during the Reformation[edit]

Bishops of Mayo during the Reformation
From Until Incumbent Notes
1493 c.1541 John Bell, O.S.A. Appointed 4 November 1493; acted as a suffragan bishop in England between 1499 and circa 1530; died circa 1541
1541 c.1559 Eugene MacBrehon, O.Carm. Appointed 21 November 1541, but cannot have got possession, since the diocese was held by Christopher Bodkin, Archbishop of Tuam; died circa 1559
In circa 1559, the Church of Ireland see was united to the Protestant archbishopric of Tuam

Post-Reformation bishops[edit]

Roman Catholic Bishops of Mayo
From Until Incumbent Notes
c.1559 1574 No bishops appointed
1574 unknown Dermot O'Dwyer, O.F.M. Appointed 12 February 1574; death date unknown
1576 1579 Patrick O'Hely, O.F.M Appointed 4 July 1576; died (hanged) after June 1579
1579 1585 No bishops appointed
1585 unknown Adam Magauran Appointed 28 July 1585; death date unknown
In 1631, Mayo was united to the Roman Catholic archbishopric of Tuam


  1. ^ Konrad Eubel, Hierarchia Catholica Medii Aevi, vol. 1, p. 321; vol. 2, pp. 183–184; vol. 3, p. 232
  2. ^ a b Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 367. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  3. ^ Fryde, ibid., p. 401 and 438–439.
  4. ^ Fryde, ibid., pp. 438–439.