Under the good rule of King Brian the Irish had shown the will and ability to reform their church themselves. Yet, in 1155 AD, Pope Adrian IV (an Englishman) conferred on Henry II of England (ruled 1154-1189) the lordship of Ireland under the impression, given him by Henry, that this was necessary for the cure of Ireland's ecclesiastical ills. Henry went to Cashel, Ireland, where he summoned an ecclesiastical council to reform the church, to make Roman Catholicism the one and only religion; however, this aroused widespread Irish hostility. Because of the Protestant rebellion against such a move, Henry had many of the Brian kinsmen and others put to death. Many fled the island and went to Denmark, Scotland, and Holland.
The gloom of popery had overshadowed Ireland from its first establishment there until the reign of Henry VIII when the rays of the Gospel began to dispel the darkness and afford that light which until then had been unknown since the days of King Brian. In April 1538, the Pope sent to Ireland (directed to the archbishop of Armagh and his clergy) a bull of excommunication against all that had turned against the mother church (Church of Rome). The bull pronounced a curse on all of them, and theirs, who should not, within forty days, acknowledge to their confessors that they had done amiss in so doing.
Dear reader, this conflict is still raging today in old Ireland, between the Catholics and the Protestants. Ireland is still trying to find freedom of worship, with which we in America are blessed and many regard as something worthless.