O'Toole, St Laurence

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O'Toole, St Laurence ( Lorcan Ua Tuathail) (c.1130–80). Archbishop of Dublin. An ascetic, born in Kildare, O'Toole became leader (coarb) of the Glendalough community, but reluctantly accepted the archbishopric of Dublin from Pope Gelasius in 1162. He attended a meeting (1167) called by the Ard Ri (high king), Rory O'Connor, king of Connacht, to improve religion and good government. Some historians have vilified him as a collaborator for mediating with O'Connor's rival Dermot MacMurrough, and Strongbow before the capture of Dublin (1170), for submitting to Henry II (1171), and negotiating terms in the treaty of Windsor (1175) after O'Connor's own submission. After attending the Lateran Council (1179) where Pope Alexander III confirmed Dublin's archiepiscopal rights and made him papal legate, he ruled strictly, trying to improve clerical discipline. Sent again by O'Connor to Henry II (1180), he was forbidden to return to Ireland. Following Henry to France, he died at Eu. He was canonized (1226).

Revd Dr William M. Marshall