Terence O'Brien (bishop)

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The Blessed
Terence Albert O Brien
Bishop of Emly
Diocese Emly
Appointed 30 october 1651
Term ended 1 (O.S.)/11 (N.S.) February 1612
Predecessor Maurice Hurley (bishop)
Successor See vacant to William Burgat in 1657
Consecration by Nicolas de Pellevé
Personal details
Born c. 1600
Died october 30 of 1651
Nationality Irish
Denomination Roman Catholic
Feast day 20 June
Venerated in 6 July 1991
Beatified 27 September 1992
by Pope John Paul II

Terence Albert O'Brien (1600 – 30 October 1651) was an Irish Roman Catholic Bishop of Emly. He was beatified among the Seventeen Irish Martyrs by Pope John Paul II on 27 September 1992.


O'Brien hailed from Cappamore, County Limerick and joined the Dominicans, studying at Toledo and Limerick. He was consecrated Bishop of Emly by Giovanni Battista Rinuccini. During the Irish Confederate Wars, like most Irish Catholics, he sided with Confederate Ireland. The bishop would treat the wounded and support Confederate soldiers throughout the conflict. O'Brien was against a peace treaty that did not guarantee Catholic interests in Ireland and signed the declaration against the Confederate's truce with the Earl of Inchiquin in 1648 who had committed atrocities against Catholic clergy and civilians, and the declaration against the Protestant royalist leader the Duke of Ormonde in 1650 who, due to his failure to resist the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland was not deemed fit to command Catholic troops.

In 1651 Limerick was besieged and O'Brien urged a resistance that infuriated the Ormondists and Parliamentarians. Following surrender he was denied quarter and protection. Major General Purcell, Father Wolf and O'Brien were brought before a court martial and ordered for execution by General Henry Ireton.[1]


On 27 September 1992, O'Brien and sixteen other Irish Catholic Martyrs, including Dermot O'Hurley, were beatified by Pope John Paul II. He died a martyr, following his execution in Limerick. A large backlighted portrait of him is on display in St. Michael's Church, Cappamore, Co. Limerick, which depicts him during The Siege of Limerick.

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  1. ^ Terence Albert O'Brien. The Catholic Encyclopedia. Retrieved Sep. 28, 2007.