Clonmel the nuncio went to Galway, where he heard that Ormonde had left Ireland, and that Preston's army had been annihilated by the parliamentarian Michael Jones near Trim (ib. p. 299). In October Monnerie, the French agent, thought Rinuccini meditated flight from Ireland. ‘Your eminence,’ he wrote to Mazarin, ‘knows the nuncio's inclinations, and I will merely say that he now receives as many curses from the people as he formerly received plaudits’ (Confederation and War, vii. 334). Glamorgan, now Marquis of Worcester, sailed from Galway to France in September, and in October the appearance of Mahony's inflammatory ‘Apologetic Disputation’ increased the nuncio's difficulties at Galway, where the book was condemned by the municipality in language of extraordinary vigour (Hardiman, p. 123) [see Mahony, Connor].
Rinuccini returned to Kilkenny in November, only to hear of Inchiquin's brilliant victory at Knocknanuss. The assembly was sitting and engaged in bitter recrimination [see MacMahon, Heber]. The nuncio found he had little power, ‘being now,’ says Bellings, ‘better known, and his excommunications by his often thundering of them grown more cheap’ (Confederation and War, vii. 38). Finding his position pleasanter at Waterford, he withdrew thither at the end of January. In February Inchiquin took Carrick-on-Suir for the parliament, and threatened Kilkenny, but declared for the king in April, and at once sought an accommodation with the confederacy on the basis of the status quo, and until Ormonde should return to Ireland. Rinuccini refused to treat with a general who had killed priests, but the supreme council, in spite of Rinuccini's threats, concluded a truce with Inchiquin on 20 May (ib. vi. 235). On the 27th Rinuccini, who was supported by a majority of the bishops, excommunicated all who adhered to the truce, and put under an interdict the towns which submitted to it (ib. p. 241). Four days later the supreme council appealed to Rome against this sentence. Rinuccini escaped from Kilkenny to O'Neill's quarters at Maryborough, and thence by Athlone to Galway, where he busied himself about the convocation of a national synod. The party opposed to him at Kilkenny pronounced his censures null and void [see Roth, David]. The jesuits, barefooted Carmelites, and cathedral clergy were against the nuncio, while the Franciscans and Dominicans took his side (Embassy, p. 453). He resented the attitude of the jesuits bitterly, attributing to them and their provincial Malone ‘the greater share of the blame for the loss of Ireland’ (ib. p. 475). He even declared that the people of Ireland were ‘catholic only in name’ (ib. p. 436).
Ormonde landed at Cork on Michaelmas day 1648, and on 16 Jan. 1648–9 concluded a peace with the catholic confederates, thus consolidating the chief royalist interests in Ireland. The confederates broke finally with Rinuccini at the beginning of the negotiations, and warned him to ‘intermeddle not in any of the affairs of this kingdom’ (Confederation and War, vi. 294–301). Due notice of this was given to the corporation of Galway, and the nuncio's last months there cannot have been agreeably spent. The Carmelites having resisted the interdict under which the churches were closed, Rinuccini had their bell pulled down. John de Burgo [q. v.], archbishop of Tuam, sided with the friars, and wished to see the nuncio's warrant (Hardiman, p. 124). ‘Ego non ostendam,’ said Rinuccini. ‘Et ego non obediam,’ retorted De Burgo, whom the nuncio had himself recommended for the archbishopric. Rinuccini was blockaded by Clanricarde. The latter acted with Ormonde and Inchiquin, and was determined that no national synod should be held at Galway (ib. p. 539). The nuncio kept a frigate ready for months, and at length sailed for Havre on 23 Feb. 1648–9.
Rinuccini did not reach Rome till early in November. His agents had been smoothing the way for him, and working against Father Rowe, provincial of the barefooted Carmelites, who had been there since January on behalf of the Irish supreme council. Rinuccini's outward reception was honourable, but Innocent, according to the oft-repeated story, accused him of rash conduct. On 28 March 1650 the pope empowered certain prelates to absolve those who had disobeyed Rinuccini's censures. A general absolution was refused, for it would ‘seem to make the pope decide that the censures were unjust, and it would further follow that the see apostolic would positively approve of contracts made with heretics, which it never did at any time’ (Confederation and War, vii. 113).
Rinuccini went back to Fermo in June 1650, and was received there with rejoicings. He suffered an apoplectic seizure soon after, and a second carried him off on 5 Dec. 1653. He had adorned the hall of the archiepiscopal palace with pictures to illustrate his Irish mission, but they were destroyed by Cardinal Paracciani in the next century. He left behind him a vast quantity of papers. His only purely literary production was ‘Il Capuccino Scozzese,’ purporting to be a life of George Leslie (d. 1637) [q. v.] The preface to the French version, of which there are many