Shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett

Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Church , West Street , Drogheda , Co. Louth

Shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett
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About Shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett

Shrine of St. Oliver Plunkett is located at Saint Peter's Roman Catholic Church, West Street in Drogheda, Co. Louth.

Oliver Plunkett(1625-1681) was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.

Plunkett was born in Loughcrew, County Meath, studied in the Irish College in Rome before being ordained a priest in 1654. In 1657 he was appointed a professor of theology in Rome and in 1669 he became Archbishop of Armagh. He finally returned to Ireland in 1670, being unable to do so before then due to the persecution of Catholics following the Cromwellian invasion (1649-1653). Following the relaxation of the Penal Law, he was able to establish a Jesuit school in Drogheda in 1670.

Follwwing the enactment of the Test Act in 1673, Roman Catholics were once again persecuted and Plunkett went into hiding but still served his flock. He was finally arrested in 1679 and imprisoned in Dublin Castle. He was tried in Dundalk but as the British knew Plunkett would never be convicted in Ireland, he was moved to Newgate Prison in London. He was re-tried and was found quilty of high treason in June 1681 "for promoting the Roman faith".

On July 1, 1681, Plunkett became the last Roman Catholic martyr to die in England when he was hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Oliver Plunkett was beatified in 1920 and his head was returned to Drogheda in 1921 where it has rested in Saint Peter's Church. Plunkett was canonised in 1975.

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