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Robert Scurlock, layman

Robert Scurlock was a young man who was hanged, drawn and quartered at Hoggen Green (now College Green) in Dublin city on 13 November 1581 AD. Little is known about him. Purportedly Robert was from a wealthy Protestant family, hailing from Scurlockstown in Co. Meath. He converted secretly to Catholicism and was imprisoned for a number of years before he was finally sentenced to be executed for treason. He refused to take the Oath of Supremacy nor abjure his Catholic faith. His own father is said to have presided as judge at his trial and sentenced his son to death after pleading with him to recant. Robert was put to death with David and John Sutton, Thomas, Maurice and Christopher Eustace, William Wogan and Robert Fitzgerald. All of them were hanged, drawn and quartered at Dublin. Sources say that Scurlock was quiet young at the time of his death.


Robert Scurlock,

by Rob Kavanagh

Christopher Eustace, layman

Sadly we know little about Christopher Eustace. He was a Catholic layman who was hanged, drawn and quartered at Dublin on 13 November 1581 AD together with his father Thomas Eustace and several other laymen. Christopher is said to have been from a wealthy family. He was executed on a charge of treason for his refusal to take the Oath of Supremacy acknowledging the English monarch as head of the Catholic Church. 


Christopher Eustace

by Rob Kavanagh

Fr. Tadhg (Thaddeus) Moriarty


Father Tadhg (Thaddeus) Moriarty was born c. 1603 at Castlemaine in County Kerry. He became a Dominican priest having studied in Spain and Portugal before returning to Ireland. During the persecutions against Catholics Fr. Tadhg remained in Ireland ministering the sacraments in secret and risking his life. He was captured one morning while celebrating a secret mass, being brought to Killarney where he was imprisoned for two months, enduring hardship and squalor. Fr. Tadhg was hanged in Killarney on 15 October 1653 AD. He died at the age of about 50 years. Fr. Tadhg is regarded as a patron saint of Castlemaine in Kerry.

William Wogan, layman

William Wogan was martyred on 13 November 1581 AD at College Green in Dublin together with Robert Scurlock. He was hanged, drawn and quartered. Sadly we know little about William. He was apparently the Lord of Rathcoffey in County Kildare and was very wealthy. He supported a rebellion within the Pale region which hoped to restore Catholicism to its former place. This failed miserably and those involved were imprisoned and executed for treason. He would have been granted his freedom if he took the Oath of Supremacy but William refused to do this, giving his life for his faith. It is probable that William was buried in Clane where his family had erected a monument.

Father Tadhg Moriarty OP

Fr. Tadhg Moriarty OP

William Wogan

William Wogan,

by Rob Kavanagh

Fr. Gelasius O' Cullenan, Cistercian

Fr. Gelasius was a Cistercian monk and the abbot of the monastery at Boyle in County Roscommon. He was from near Ballyshannon in County Donegal and several of his siblings became priests. Fr. Gelasius studied in Spain and France, receiving a doctorate. He returned to Ireland and was eventually captured. Gelasius was martyred on 21 November 1580 at Dublin by hanging. Beforehand he was imprisoned and tortured but refused to renounce the Catholic faith. His fingers and hands were battered with a hammer apparently. A rosary beads belonging to Fr. Gelasius can be seen today at the Cistercian monastery at Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, a prized relic that has survived the centuries

Fr. Gelasius O'Cullenan

Gelasius O' Cullenan,

by Rob Kavanagh

Edmund Daniel,

Jesuit seminarian

Edmund Daniel was born in Limerick c. 1541 AD and entered the Jesuits at Rome. Apparently he was still only a seminarian at the time of his death and was aged about 31 years. He instructed Catholic youth in their faith for a time before he was captured. Poor Edmund was imprisoned for a long time and endured torture and filth in his dungeon. He was hanged, drawn and quartered at Cork on 25 October 1572 AD, a horrific and painful death. Edmund was the very first Jesuit not only in Ireland but in the whole of Europe to be martyred!

Elizabeth Kearney and Margaret,

 lay women

Elizabeth Kearney was the mother of Blessed John Kearney, a Franciscan priest and martyr (who is in the group of 17 Irish martyrs). Elizabeth was martyred while praying in the cathedral of Cashel on 13 September 1647 AD. Along with her was a lay woman named Margaret who was also killed. She escaped the massacre but returned to help the survivors and was killed in the process. Sadly we know very little else about these women. Elizabeth apparently did a lot to help persecuted priests. They were gathered in the cathedral along with several others including numerous clerics. All were butchered. In total about 400 Catholics were killed that day when the town was attacked by an army of 7000 led by a corrupt man named Morough of the Burnings. Among those killed were men, women and children indiscriminately. They were killed because they were Catholics. Elizabeth, Margaret and Blessed Margaret Ball are the only three women among the Irish martyrs who are to be canonized, although there were others whose causes have not (yet) begun.

Margaret of Cashel.png

Margaret of Cashel

John Burke, layman

Sir John Burke was born in Limerick c. 1550 AD and was a husband and father of nine children. He held the title of knight and Lord of Brittas. He was a very devout Catholic and was a member of the Third Order of St. Dominic. John was active in covert operations, assisting priests, hiding them and facilitating Catholic gatherings in his home. He was discovered by the authorities and imprisoned in Dublin. However a plague occurred and Sir John was released. He returned home to his castle where he organized a secret mass. One day his castle was attacked as his cousin had informed the authorities about this mass. John helped the priest escape undetected and he also managed to escape himself but was soon betrayed again to the authorities who captured him at Waterford. He was sent back to Limerick where he was sentenced to death for treason. He was hanged, drawn and quartered in 1607 AD at Gallows Green in Limerick. Before he died he prayed aloud and offered his unborn child to the Dominican order. This child, a daughter became a Dominican nun in Portugal.

Phelim O' Hara, lay brother Franciscan Friars Minor 

Brother Phelim O' Hara was a lay brother of the Franciscan Friars Minor. He entered the order at the age of 21 and lived a life of great piety, simplicity and detachment. Brother Phelim apparently lived at the monastery of Killala in County Mayo where he used to go questing for the brothers. One day while doing this he was captured by the anti-Catholic forces and when he refused to renounce his faith he was sentenced to death for treason. He was hanged, drawn and quartered on 1 May 1582 AD at Moyne in County Cork.

Walter Eustace, layman

Walter Eustace was the brother of Thomas Eustace and the uncle of Christopher Eustace. All were martyred. Walter was a layman who was hanged, drawn and quartered at Dublin on 14 June 1583 AD. 

Fr. Eoin O' Mulkern, Premonstratensian

Father Eoin O' Mulkern was a Premonstratensian priest who was martyred on 21 November 1580 AD at Dublin. He was hanged, drawn and quarterd together with Gelasius O'Cullenan. 

Fr. John Bathe,


Father John Bathe was a Jesuit priest who was martyred 11 September 1649 AD in Drogheda at the age of 27 years together with his brother Thomas, a secular priest. Both men refused to renounce their Catholic faith and so were beaten with rods and then shot dead.

Angelus of St. Joseph,

Carmelite seminarian

Angelus of St. Joseph was an Englishmen from Herefordshire who joined the Carmelites at Dublin. He was martyred at the age of 20 years on 15 August 1642 AD at Siddan, County Meath. He was shot dead and then bayonetted for being a Catholic religious.

Fr. Dominic Dillon,


Father Dominic Dillon was a Dominican priest who was martyred in Drogheda on 11 September 1649 AD.  He was the prior of the monastery at Urlar in Co. Mayo. Dominic was martyerd with Fr. Richard Oveton, also a Dominican.

Fr. Luke Bergin,


Father Luke was a Cistercian priest who was martyred on 14 April 1655 AD at Wexford. He was associated with the monastery at Baltinglass in Co. Wicklow. Apparently he was hanged and then buried in the ruins of the Franciscan friary at Wexford town.

Fr. Richard Creagh,

Archbishop of Armagh

Father Richard Creagh was the Archbishop of Armagh who was martyred in the Tower of London 1586 AD. He became a priest after he survived a shipwreck and spent many years studying abroad before returning to Ireland. He was an intellectual who wrote several books including a work called the lives of the Saints of Ireland. He was apparently a very humble priest who refused to become a bishop twice and then was forced to take the bishopric of Armagh which he did, making him the primate of the Irish Church. He died from poisoning. 

Fr. Donal O' Neylan,

Franciscan Friars Minor

Father Donal was a Franciscan priest who was martyred at Youghal, Co. Cork on 28 March 1580 AD. 

Fr. Bernard and Laurence

O' Ferrall,

Dominican priests

These two were brothers and both were Dominican priests. They lived at the monastery of Longford when they were captured. Fr. Bernard was killed first by being stabbed and then Fr. Laurence was imprisoned and sentenced to death. Because of his friends his execution was delayed however for three days which caused him much sorrow but he spent this time in fervent prayer. He was eventually hanged in 1649 AD.

Thomas Eustace, layman

Thomas Eustace was the father of Christopher Eustace and both men were martyred in Dublin on 13 November 1581 AD. They refused to renounce the Catholic faith and so were hanged, drawn and quartered. Apparently Thomas and Christopher prayed aloud a litany before their execution.

Robert Fitzgerald, layman

Robert was hanged, drawn and quartered at Dublin in 1581 AD together with Thomas and Christopher Eustace, Robert Scurlock, William Wogan, Maurice Eustace and David and John Sutton. He was sentenced to death for treason when he refused to renounce his Catholic faith. Sadly there is little else known about him. Robert is associated with Osberstown in County Kildare.

Robert Fitzgerald.jpg

Robert Fitzgerald

Maurice Eustace, cleric

Maurice was a wealthy young man who was hanged, drawn and quartered at Dublin on 13 November 1581 AD. He was from Castlemartin in Co. Kildare. He was educated in Belgium and then returned to Ireland. Maurice felt called to religious life with the Jesuits but his father opposed this which must have been upsetting for him. He wanted to be a priest and secretly took Holy Orders but this was discovered by his father who immediately had his son arrested and imprisoned in Dublin. His younger brother then accused Maurice of being a priest, a Jesiut and a friend of the Queen's enemies for which he was put on trial for high treason. Despite pleadings, threats and bribery Maurice refused to renounce his Catholic faith and so was executed.

David and John Sutton, laymen

David and John were brothers. They were martyred in Dublin in 1581 AD. They are associated with Castletown in Co. Kildare which was (perhaps) their hometown. Sadly we know little about them except that they were from a prominent, wealthy family and they refused to renounce the Catholic faith by taking the Oath of Supremacy.

Fr. Theobald Stapleton,

Diocesan priest

Father Theobald was born in Kilkenny in c. 1589 AD. He was a diocesan priest who was martyred at Cashel, Tipperary in 1647 AD at the age of about 58. He was killed along with Elizabeth Kearney and Margaret as well as many other Catholics during the massacre of Cashel. Fr. Theobald was an intellectual who spent time in Belgium where he published a work in Irish, to promote the usage of the Irish language.

Fr. Thomas Morrissey,

Diocesan priest

Father Thomas Morrissey was a secular priest who was martyred during the massacre of Cashel in 1647 AD. Sadly we know little about him except that he was apparently a very old man at the time of his death and was bedridden. Despite this, he was brought into the cathedral at Cashel somehow along with the other Catholics. When the building was attacked his frailty and vulnerability did not spare him from a gruesome death.

Br. James Saul, lay brother

Franciscan Friars Minor

Brother James was a Franciscan lay brother who was martyred during the massacre of Cashel in 1647 AD. Sadly there is little else known about him.

Fr. William Boyton,


Father William was a Jesuit priest, originally from Munster who was martyred during the massacre of Cashel in 1647 AD. He apparently died administering the sacrament of confession to the Catholics gathered when he was violently run through with a lance by a soldier. He died in front of the altar of Our Lady in the cathedral, along with many others who were butchered that day.

Fr. Richard Butler,

Franciscan Friars Minor

Father Richard was a Franciscan priest and a learned scholar at the time of his death. He was martyred during the massacre of Cashel in 1647 AD. The holy priest was killed by being pierced with a sword on the high altar of the cathedral.

Fr. Edward Stapleton,

Diocesan priest

Sadly we know little about this holy priest like so many of the other martyrs. He was among those killed during the massacre of Cashel in 1647 AD. Father Edward was killed inside the cathedral together with Father Thomas Stapleton, Elizabeth Kearney and several other martyrs

Fr. Richard Barry,


Father Richard Barry was a native of Cork and the prior of the Dominican convent at Cashel. He was a saintly priest who was with those killed in the massacre of Cashel. After the slaughter Father Richard was kept aside to be tortured cruelly. He was hung up over a fire and slowly burned for two hours. He endured mockery and beatings but he resisted all attempts to make him renounce his faith or to remove his religious habit for which he was eventually pierced by a sword and died on 15 September 1647 AD.

Fr. Richard Oveton,


Father Richard was the prior of the Dominican convent at Athy, Co. Kildare. He was beheaded for his Catholic faith in Drogheda, County Louth in front of a vast army on 11 September 1649 AD. Together with him was Father Dominic Dillon, another Dominican priest.

Fr. Brian O' Carolan,

Diocesan priest

Father Brian was a secular priest in the diocese of Meath who was martyred for his Catholic faith on 26 March 1606 AD near Trim. Sadly we know little else about him or his story.

Fr. Thomas Bathe, 

Diocesan priest

Father Thomas was a secular priest and the brother of Father John Bathe, a Jesuit. Both of these men died together for their Catholic faith. They were beaten and shot dead at Drogheda, Co. Louth in 1649 AD when they refused to renounce their faith. Sadly we know little else about them. Father Thomas was apparently from the Archdiocese of Armagh.

Fr. Peter Taafe,


Father Peter was the prior of the Augustinian convent at Drogheda, Co. Louth. He was a man of great holiness and purity of life who was gunned down by the Cromwellians on 11 September 1649 AD. He refused to renounce his Catholic faith or his vocation and so was executed by firing squad.

Fr. Tadhg O' Daly,

Franciscan Friars Minor

Father Tadhg was from Kinvarra in County Galway. He became a Franciscan priest and was martyred in Limerick in March of 1578 AD. He refused to take the Oath of Supremacy and was tied to a horse and dragged through the streets. The martyr went to his death cheerfully and was hanged, drawn and quartered after suffering mockery and maltreatment. Purportedly his decapitated head uttered the words 'Lord show me your ways' 

Fr. Conor MacCarthy,

Diocesan priest

Father Conor was martyred in Killarney, Co. Kerry in 1653 AD. He studied for the priesthood in Spain and returned to Ireland where he ministered to Catholics in secret until he was found out and imprisoned. Refusing to renounce his faith he was executed at the age of 42 years

Fr. James Murphy,

Diocesan priest

Father James was a secular priest who was hanged at Wexford in 1655 AD. Sadly we know very little about him. He was sentenced to death for the crime of being a Catholic priest and was put to death with Luke Bergin, a Cistercian priest. Apparently following his execution and burial lights were seen coming from the area of the martyr's grave. It is purported that Father James was interred in the ruined Franciscan Church outside the walls of Wexford town.

Fr. Francis O' Sullivan,

Franciscan Friars Minor

Father Francis was a Franciscan priest who was martyred by beheading/shooting in 1653 AD on Scariff Island off the coast of County Kerry. He was the prior of the Franciscan convent at Muckross and was a very learned man. During the persecution of Catholic clergy which swept the county during this period Father Francis was forced into hiding. He found refuge in a cavern on Scariff Island but his hideout was soon discovered and he was killed by Protestants. His skull is a prized relic and is kept in the Franciscan friary of Killarney.

Fr. Donough MacCready,

Diocesan priest

Father Donough was a secular priest who was martyred in 1608 AD at Coleraine, Co. Derry. Sadly there is little known about this holy martyr.

Fr. Donal Breen,

Diocesan priest

Father Donal was martyred at Wexford in 1655 AD. He was put to death with Father James Murphy and Father Luke Bergin. He was a much loved priest who had spent many years in Spain. Fr. Donal greatly loved the Spanish people and was known to wear the same clothes as did the Spanish clergy. He was nick-named 'Daniel the Spaniard' because of this. Father Donal was a very virtuous and zealous priest who was loved by his parishioners. He was targeted by the Cromwellians who sought to have him executed. One time the soldiers raided a castle suspected of hosting Catholic gatherings. They took everyone inside as prisoners and demanded that the priest did not reveal himself they would kill everyone. Fr. Donal came out of hiding to protect the people and was mugged by the soldiers. They demanded he hand over the chalice used at mass which he did. One soldier, drinking beer from it a suddenly collapsed on the ground in a fit of terror and convulsions. Father Donal then made the sign of the cross over him and prayed for him and the man was restored to his health. Fr. Donal lived for several years ministering to the Catholics and was arrested many times but always managed to escape death, until finally he was imprisoned and hanged at Wexford for the crime of being a papist and a priest. Apparently he was suffering from a disease at the time of his death and his legs did not work so he had to be carried to the place of execution on horseback.

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