Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 41.djvu/335

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

Ossoriense, i. 307). O'Brien was among the bishops who on 30 Aug. pronounced it ‘a deadly sin against the law of God and of his church’ to obey or proclaim the truce with Inchiquin (Confederation and War, vi. 279). He supported the excommunication and interdict fulminated by Rinuccini against those who did not agree with him, or who refused to obey him. Towards the end of the year O'Brien went to join the nuncio, who had retired to Galway, but, learning at Oranmore that he had sailed, turned aside to his own diocese. He attended the great assembly of bishops who met at Clonmacnoise in December 1649, and on 10 Feb. following wrote to some great man to say that they were united against the common enemy, though without retracting individual opinions (Spicilegium Ossoriense, i. 331). O'Brien was one of the prelates who signed the declaration of Jamestown on 12 Aug. 1650, releasing the people from their allegiance to Ormonde as lord-lieutenant, and excommunicating those who persisted in following him, and later in the same month he was one of the committee who repeated this excommunication at Galway. Ormonde left Ireland in December, leaving Clanricarde as deputy. O'Brien was one of those who at this time invited Charles, duke of Lorraine, to Ireland. The duke reported this invitation to the pope (ib. ii. 84) on 11 Feb. 1651 (N.S.), and sent some supplies to Galway, but he never came himself, and the negotiations had no real effect.

The diocese of Emly had long been overrun by the parliamentarians, and O'Brien wrote from Galway on 29 March (ib. i. 367) that the Irish cause was lost east of the Shannon, and that the enemy commanded the sea. He went to Limerick before the memorable siege, which began 2 June 1651, exhorted the people to resist, and helped to prevent them from accepting the comparatively favourable terms at first offered by Ireton. He devoted himself to the sufferers from a malignant fever which raged among the besieged, and was found in the hospital when Ireton's soldiers entered on 29 Oct. He was one of those excepted by name from pardon in the articles of capitulation, on the ground that he had opposed surrender when there was no hope of relief, and that he had been ‘an original incendiary of the rebellion, or a prime engager therein’ (Contemporary Hist. iii. 267). He was hanged on the 31st, and his head impaled over St. John's gate. By those of his own creed in Ireland, O'Brien has always been regarded as a martyr. In the acts of the Dominican chapter-general held at Rome in 1656, it is asserted, with little probability, that he refused a bribe of forty thousand aurei offered to him to quit Limerick before its investment (Hibernia Dominicana, p. 488). It is stated on the same authority, and has been often repeated, that he foretold speedy divine vengeance on the conqueror, and that Ireton, who died of fever within a month, bitterly regretted his execution, and cast the blame upon the council of war. Ireton was hardly the man to shirk responsibility, even in the delirium of fever, and neither his own despatch nor Ludlow's gives any hint of the kind.

[De Burgo's Hibernia Dominicana; Rinuccini's Embassy in Ireland, English Trans.; Cardinal Moran's Spicilegium Ossoriense; Contemporary Hist. of War in Ireland, and Hist. of Confederation and War in Ireland, ed. Gilbert; Clanricarde's Memoirs, 1744; Ludlow's Memoirs, 1751, vol. i.; O'Daly's Geraldines, translated by Meehan; Brady's Episcopal Succession; Lenihan's Hist. of Limerick. The biography of Bishop O'Brien in Myles O'Reilly's Memorials is derived from an article signed M. (? Cardinal Moran) in Duffy's Hibernian Magazine for April 1864.]

R. B-l.

O'BRIEN, TURLOUGH (1009–1086), king of Munster, called in Irish Toirdhealbhach Ua Briain, was nephew of Donnchadh O'Brien, son of Brian (926–1014) [q. v.], king of Ireland. His name is pronounced Trellach in his own country, that of the Dal Cais, a great part of which is the present county of Clare. His father was Tadhg, son of Brian Boroimhe. He was born in 1009, and fostered or educated by Maelruanaidh O'Bilraighe, lord of Ui Cairbre in the plain of Limerick, who died in 1105. His first recorded act was the slaying of O'Donnacain, lord of Aradhtire, near Lough Derg of the Shannon, in 1031. After this he was perhaps banished, for in 1054 he plundered Clare with an army of Connaughtmen, and in 1055 won a battle over his kinsman Murchadh an sceith ghirr (short shield), in which 400 men and fifteen chiefs were slain. His accession as chief of the Dal Cais is dated from 1055 by some writers, but his sway was at first not undisputed; and O'Flaherty's date, 1064 (Ogygia, p. 437), is certainly correct. He defeated Murchadh for the second time in 1063. In 1067 he made war on Connaught and on the Deisi, co. Waterford, and on the death of Murchadh became king of Munster. He carried off the head of Conchobhar O'Maelsechlainn and two rings of gold on the night of Good Friday 1073 from Clonmacnoise. According to an old story, a mouse emerged from the dried head and ran into Turlough's garments, and was supposed to have carried