Most Rev. Sean (John) O Briain (O’Brien)


Parish Of Birth
Ballyvoddy, Glanworth (Cloyne)

Details Of Ordination
Irish College, Toulouse

Bishop : 1748 – 13/3/1769

Bishop of Cloyne & Ross : 1748 – 13/3/1769

Born in 1701. He studying for the priesthood in Toulouse and did further studies at the Sorbonne.
He returned to Ireland in 1738 and became PP of Castlelyons and Vicar General of Cloyne.
The dioceses of Cork, Cloyne and Ross were united in Penal times with one bishop and when Bishop Mac Carthy Rabach died in 1747, Cloyne and Ross were separated from Cork again and John O’Brien was appointed Bishop of Cloyne and Ross in 1748.
His time as bishop was a difficult one with oppression of the Catholic religion and chaos among the clergy. He worked to regulate and educate the clergy and to ensure the spread of the gospel among the faithful.
These aims were particularly served by Bishop O’Brien’s English-Irish Dictionary which was published in France in August 1768. (Irish was the language of the people at the time but most of the clergy had been educated in France over several years and many had become less fluent in Irish.)
Bishop O’Brien introduced what was probably the first 18th century general mission in Ireland in 1765 when he and a team of priests conducted a mission in two-thirds of the parishes of Cloyne – followed in 1766 in the remainder of Cloyne and all of Ross diocese.

— compiled by Fr Tom Hayes from a biography of Bishop O’Brien published by Fr James Coombes (1981).

Date Of Death

Place Of Death
Died in Lyon, France.

Place Of Burial
Church St. Martin of Ainay, Lyon, France.