02 - Archbishop Maol Muire Ó hÚigínn

Archbishop of Tuam 1586 - 1590

Gerry Costello

Archbishop Maol Muire Ó hÚigínn (Anglicised: Miler O’Higgin, died circa 1590) was an Irish Roman Catholic clergyman. He was appointed Archbishop of Tuam by the Holy See on 24 March 1586, and died in office circa 1590.

Ó hÚigínn was a son of Mathghamhain mac Maol Ó hÚigínn of Dougharane, Leyeny, County Sligo, a descendant of Tadgh Óg Ó hÚigínn (died 1448). His brother was the poet Tadhg Dall Ó hÚigínn. A source states that in his youth Maol Muire was an accomplished poet and harpist and also something of a philosopher.” Ó hÚigínn was educated on the continent, where he took degrees in canon law, civil law and theology. This high standard of education led to his consecration as Archbishop of Tuam in April 1586. He left for Rome sometime prior to 1590, possibly as a result of the rule of Richard Bingham. He was on his way back from Rome when he died at the episcopal palace at Antwerp on 5 August 1590, and was buried in the city cathedral.

Some of Ó hÚigínn’s poems are extant; they include the twelve-verse A fhir threbas in tulaig, and A fhir theidh go fiodh funnidh, which is one hundred and thirty-six verses long, in praise of Ireland. Other poems are on religious subjects. Several of his poems were still been copied by poets and historians in manuscripts well into the 19th century.








This page was added on 27/05/2015.

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