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O'Daly, Daniel

O'DALY, DANIEL

Priest and diplomat; b. Kilsarkon, County Kerry, Ireland 1595; d. Lisbon, June 30, 1662. His father, Conchubhar, was a bard and soldier of Gerald, earl of Desmond, his mother an O'Keefe from Duhallow barony. He entered the Dominicans in his youth and because of the persecution in Ireland, he was educated in Spain, studying first in Lugo, then in Burgos, where he was ordained. After further studies he returned to Emly diocese as a "fugitive" priest. He was recalled to Louvain to teach in the newly erected college for Irish Dominicans and he became superior in 1624. While raising funds in Madrid, he obtained Philip IV's consent to begin the College of Corpo Santo at Lisbon, a foundation similar to that of Louvain. He later founded the convent of Bom Sucesso for Irish-born Dominican nuns at Belem in Lisbon, in return for which concession he recruited a body of Irish soldiery for Spanish service in the Low Countries. With the restoration of the Portuguese monarchy (1640), he was appointed confessor to Luiza de Guzman, wife of the new king, John of Braganza. Several diplomatic missions followed: in 1649, to Charles Stuart at Jersey; in 1650 a secret mission to Pope Innocent X concerning the nomination of Portuguese bishops then being blocked by Spain; in 1655 to France first as envoy, then as accredited ambassador to negotiate financial and military help. After King John's death (1656), O'Daly acted as chief adviser to the widow-regent. He also helped to negotiate a matrimonial alliance between Charles II of England and Catherine of Braganza. He refused nomination to the archbishopric of Goa, but he was eventually nominated bishop of Coimbra in 1662 by the regent who had previously endowed Corpo Santo when it needed expansion. He died as bishop-elect and was buried in Corpo Santo, where a slab bearing his inscription is preserved despite the 1755 earthquake. Both his foundations survive to the present day. His Latin history of the Geraldines was published in 1655, Initium, incrementum et exitus Geraldinorum, with an appendix on religious persecution in 17th-century Ireland. The work, though slight, has merit and was translated into French by Abbé Joubert in 1697 and into English by C. P. Meehan, Dublin, 1847.

Bibliography: d. o'daly, History of the Geraldines, tr. c. p. meehan (2d ed. Dublin 1878); MSS in Bom Sucesso Convent, and in National Archives, Lisbon. t. de burgo, Hibernia Dominicana (Kilkenny 1762). m. a. o'connell, For Faith and Fatherland (Dublin 1888). e. prestage, The Diplomatic Relations of Portugal with France, England, and Holland from 1640 to 1688 (Watford 1925); Frei Domingos do Rosário (D. O'Daly ) diplomata e politico (Coimbra 1926).

[m. b. maccurtain]

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