Cogly, Quentin (Quintin) (d. 1539?), Dominican priest and bishop of Dromore, was a member of the Gaelic Irish family of Ó Coigligh, a branch of the Uí Fiachrach, who in times long past had been settled in the barony of Carra, Co. Mayo, but in the sixteenth century were dispersed to Sligo, Donegal, and elsewhere in Ireland. Cogly entered the Dominican order c.1520 as a filius of Mullingar. He was a student at Paris in the early 1520s and it is highly likely that he studied at the Sorbonne. The master of the order absolved him in 1528 from the canonical censures incurred by apostasy, which had been imposed upon him about 1526 (probably for not wearing the religious habit); Matthew Orius, a Paris Dominican, was designated to receive him to the Dominican habit once more on 1 February 1528. On the same day he was assigned to the University of Oxford as a student of theology. He is almost certainly identical with the ‘Malachi Cogly’ who was admitted to the degree of bachelor of canon law at Oxford on 2 December 1529. In 1536 Cogly travelled to Rome with David Brown (qv), who became, effectively, the first Irish provincial of an autonomous Irish Dominican province. In April 1536 the register of the master general noted that Cogly was a bachelor of canon law and holder of the licentiate of theology, and was freed from every excommunication.
Quentin Cogly was nominated bishop of Dromore on 29 May 1536. The bull of his appointment stressed his pastoral responsibilities. One might hazard a guess that he was a pupil in Paris of the Scotsman Robert Wauchope (qv), the noted theologian and canonist, who became the reform-minded archbishop of Armagh; Cogly may well have owed his promotion to the see of Dromore, which had been vacant since the death of Thaddeus O'Reilly in 1526, to Wauchope's recommendation. He was permitted to be consecrated outside Rome by bishops of his own choice, and as a newly appointed bishop he offered, through his agent or procurator, 50 gold florins (reckoned as a third of a year's revenue from his diocese) by way of tax to the Roman curial office of the Camera, the bulls of his appointment having been expedited gratis.
In 1537 two papal briefs were addressed to Cogly by Paul III, which shed light on the rapidly changing pattern of church affairs in Ireland. These documents afford a glimpse of Bishop Cogly's sharp reaction to the introduction of anglicanism and his unswerving loyalty to the apostolic see. The first brief (8 April) rehearsed how Cogly had intimated to the pope that several Irish sees were vacant; that there were also problems with sees that were occupied; that some bishops had been tinged with anglicanism, while others, who were English by birth, spent their time in England and were absent from their dioceses; and that, as a result, pastoral care was seriously neglected and religion was in decline. Cogly had made the remarkable proposal that he might personally exercise his episcopal office in neglected and abandoned dioceses throughout Ireland. The pope agreed and, notwithstanding the normal provisions of church law, conciliar, or synodal decrees, granted Cogly highly exceptional episcopal faculties in dioceses occupied by bishops judged to be heretical and those where bishops were non-resident, provided the consent of the respective diocesan chapters was obtained.
The second brief (20 June 1537) was concerned primarily with the archbishop of Armagh, George Cromer (qv), formerly a priest of the Chichester diocese and royal chaplain. From entries in the archbishop's register it appears that he was spiritual administrator of the diocese of Dromore from 1526 to 1534 at least. The indications are that Cromer did not welcome the papal nomination of Quentin Cogly to Dromore and subsequently clashed with him on theological and jurisdictional issues. The brief revealed that the pope had been informed that Cromer was in agreement with Henry VIII's rebellious views, had resolutely rejected the authority of the pope and catholic church, and was obedient only to his English sovereign. The see of Dromore was declared removed from the metropolitan jurisdiction of Armagh, and Cromer was probably confronted by the dilemma of trying to remain loyal to the papacy, while at the same time supporting the authority of the excommunicated English king in his lordship of Ireland. Cogly was probably the outspoken bishop who was imprisoned in Dublin castle, together with a (Dominican) friar of Mullingar. They were later put on trial at Trim for ‘notorious offences against the King's Majesty’ (especially preaching against royal supremacy) in 1538, but both escaped indictment under the statute of praemunire. Cogly must have died before 16 June 1539, when his successor was nominated.
Cogly's episcopacy was characterised by great personal integrity. In a world where Irish ecclesiastical loyalties were bought and sold under crown auspices he acted as a lone bulwark against the introduction of the anglican reformation into dioceses in Ulster and elsewhere. His thorough rejection of the reformation was reflected in the papal briefs of 1537 and in his refusal to take the oath of supremacy, which most of the northern bishops did by 1543. And while Henry VIII did not recognise Cogly's appointment to Dromore, he made no nomination of his own to the see. Cogly's strong complaints to Rome concerning the heterodoxy and pro-anglican policy of Archbishop Cromer contributed to Cromer's removal from the archbishopric of Armagh in July 1539. Quentin Cogly represented, by training and conviction, the reformed Observant strand among Irish Dominicans. He withstood both crown coercion and judicial process in his loyalty to the apostolic see of Rome and remained untainted by political expediency or religious compromise when such trends were becoming the accepted order of the day.