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O'Devany, Conor, Bl.

O'DEVANY, CONOR, BL.

Bishop of Down and Connor, martyr; b. c. 1553; d. Dublin, Feb. 11, 1612. He entered the Franciscan Friary of Donegal (date unknown) and was consecrated bishop of Down and Connor Feb. 1, 1583. In 1587 O'Devany (or Conor) was one of the Irish prelates who met in the Diocese of Clogher, where the decrees of the Council of Trent were promulgated. In 1588 he was arrested and confined in Dublin Castle, but two years later he was released by W. Fitzwilliam, the lord deputy, since "the law at present does not authorize the execution of the prisoner and the only charge against him is the exercise of spiritual authority." In 1591 he was granted special ecclesiastical faculties by Cardinal William allen because of his piety and zeal. He also collected materials on the lives of those who were persecuted for the faith. These were later included in the Analecta nova et mira by David Rothe, Bishop of Ossory from 1617 to 1619 (ed. P. Moran, Dublin 1884). In 1605 O'Devany was accused by spies of visiting the pope and the king of Spain at the request of Hugh O'Neill, and was again arrested and imprisoned. There he remained until his trial for high treason in 1611. Found guilty, he was sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. Two ministers accompanied the bishop to the scaffold, offering him bribes if he would renounce his faith. There he was executed together with a secular priest, Patrick O'Loughran (see irish confessors and martyrs). O'Devany was beatified on Sept. 27, 1992.

Bibliography: j. t. gilbert, The Dictionary of National Biography from the Earliest Times to 1900, 63 v. (London 18851900) 14:864865. d. murphy, Our Martyrs (Dublin 1896), bibliog.

[l. mckeown]

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