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O'HELY, PATRICK (d. 1578), Roman catholic bishop of Mayo, called in Irish Ua Heilighe, was a native of Connaught, and early became a Franciscan. Proceeding to Spain in the fifth year after making his profession, he entered the university of Alcala. After making much progress in the study of theology there, he was summoned to Rome by the provincial of his order, and resided in the 'convent of Ara Cœli.' His learning came to the notice of Gregory XIII, who, on 4 July 1576, appointed him to the See of Mayo. O'Hely set out for his diocese almost immediately, with a companion, Conagh O'Rourke; passing through Paris, he landed at Dingle, co. Kerry. He was at once arrested and brought before the Countess of Desmond, in the absence of her husband. She sent him to Limerick to be examined, and after imprisonment there he was conveyed to Kilmallock. There O'Hely and his companion, O'Rourke, were tried by Sir William Drury [q. v.], condemned, and hanged, according to Renehan, on 22 Aug. 1578. Other authorities state that at the trial O'Hely summoned Drury to appear before the judgment sent of heaven; and, by deferring the date of the trial till late in 1579, they suggest a close connection between O'Hely's exhortation and Drury's death in October of that year. There is no mention, however, of the trial or execution in the 'State Papers,' Carew MSS., or 'Annals of the Four Masters.' O'Hely was buried in the Franciscan convent at Askeaton, co. Limerick.

[Wadding's Annales Trium Ordinum. xxi. 155–6; Bruodinus's Propugnasculum Catholicæ Fidei, pp. 433–7; Roth's Analects. ed. Moran, pp. 368, 382; O'Sullevan's Historiæ Cath. Hiberniæ Compendium, pp. 77, 104-6; De Burgo's Hibernia Dominicana; Brady's Episcopal Succession. ii. 155–6; Gams's Series Episcoporum; Moran's Spicilegium Ossoriense, iii. 36–7; O'Reilly's Irish Martyrs and Confessors. pp. 51–53, and Memorials, pp. 28-30; Renehan's Collections, pp. 275, 389, &c.; Webb's Irish Biography; Cal. State Papers, Ireland, 1574–85, p. 133.]

A. F. P.