Skip to content

Light a FREE Virtual Prayer Candle

Light a FREE Virtual Prayer Candle These candles are perfect for loved ones, as memorials, and for those in need who are far away.

Light Your FREE Candle Now >


Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes


A suffragan of Armagh, Ireland, which comprises the County Monaghan, almost the whole of Fermanagh, the southern portion of Tyrone, and parts of Donegal, Louth, and Cavan. It takes its name from Clogher, the seat of the Prince of Oriel, with whose territory the old Diocese of Clogher was, practically speaking, coextensive. The see was founded by St. Patrick, who appointed one of his household, St. Macarten, as first bishop. There does not seem to be any evidence that St. Patrick governed Clogher as a distinct diocese before taking up his residence at Armagh, as is stated by Jocelyn. There is great difficulty in tracing the succession of bishops in Clogher, as indeed in every Irish diocese from the sixth to the eleventh century, on account of the confusion of the bishops with the abbots of the monastic establishments; the difficulty is increased in Clogher in view of the diversity existing between the lists as given in the Irish Annals, and the "Register of Clogher", compiled by Patrick Culin, Bishop of Clogher (1519-34), and Roderick Cassidy, archdeacon of the diocese. The "Register of Clogher" is of very little historical value.

In 1241 Henry III ordered that Clogher should be united to Armagh, on account of the poverty of both dioceses, but this was not carried out, though under Bishop David O'Brogan large portions of Tyrone were cut off from Clogher and given to Ardstraw (now united with Derry), while the greater part of the present County Louth, including Dundalk, Drogheda, and Ardee, was taken over by Armagh. In 1535 Bishop Odo, or Hugh O'Cervallan, was appointed to the See of Clogher by Paul III , and on the submission of his patron Con O'Neill to Henry VIII, this prelate seems to have accepted the new teaching and was superseded by Raymond MacMahon, 1546. From his time there are two lines of bishops in Clogher, the Catholic and the Protestant. The apostate Miler Magrath was appointed Protestant bishop by Queen Elizabeth in 1570, but on his promotion to Cashel, resigned Clogher in the same year. Heber or Emer MacMahon (1643-50) took a prominent part in the war of the Irish Confederates, and on the death of Owen Roe O'Neill, was chosen general of the Confederate forces. He was defeated at Scariffhollis near Letterkenny, taken prisoner by Coote, and beheaded at Enniskillen. Owing to the persecutions of the Irish Catholics, Clogher was governed by vicars during the periods 1612-43, 1650-71, 1687-1707, 1713-27. The chapter of Clogher was allowed to lapse, but towards the end of the eighteenth century it was re-established by papal Brief.

A very important provincial synod was held at Clones in 1670 by Oliver Plunkett, Archbishop of Armagh (see Moran, Life of Plunkett). The most remarkable shrines of the diocese are at St. Patrick's, Lough Derg, near Pettigo, still frequented by thousands of pilgrims from all parts of the world (see ST. PATRICK'S PURGATORY ); Devenish Island in Lough Erne (see McKenna, Devenish, its History and Antiquities, Dublin, 1897); Innismacsaint, also in Lough Erne, where the "Annals of Ulster" were composed; Lisgoole, Clones, and Clogher. The most celebrated works of ancient ecclesiastical art connected with the diocese are the Domnach Airigid, a shrine enclosing a copy of the Gospels, said to have been given by St. Patrick to St. Macarten, and the Cross of Clogher, both of them now in the National Museum in Dublin. The Catholic population of the diocese is 101,162, distributed in forty parishes and ministered to by about 100 priests.

To all our readers, Please don't scroll past this.

Deacon Keith Fournier Today, we humbly ask you to defend Catholic Online's independence. 98% of our readers don't give; they simply look the other way. If you donate just $5.00, or whatever you can, Catholic Online could keep thriving for years. Most people donate because Catholic Online is useful. If Catholic Online has given you $5.00 worth of knowledge this year, take a minute to donate. Show the volunteers who bring you reliable, Catholic information that their work matters. If you are one of our rare donors, you have our gratitude and we warmly thank you. Help Now >
BOGO 50% off Face Mask with Cross

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Free Online Catholic Classes for Anyone, Anywhere - Click Here

We ask you, humbly: don't scroll away.

Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you.

Help Now >

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2021 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter!