Comerford, Patrick (c.1584–1652), catholic bishop of Waterford and Lismore, was the son of Robert Comerford, merchant, of Waterford, and his wife, Anastasia (née White) of Clonmel. He was educated in Waterford and Kilkenny, and was one of the first students at the Irish college in Bordeaux (founded in 1603). After a brief return to Ireland, he continued his studies at Lisbon. Here he was received into the order of Augustinian friars and was sent for a time to Terceira in the Azores. He returned to Portugal to study theology at Coimbra, acted as secretary to his order's provincial in Portugal and was ordained priest in 1610. He was then sent to teach in the Augustinian convent in Brussels and in 1620 he attended the order's general chapter in Rome. He was then named perpetual prior of Callan, Co. Kilkenny, and prior of Kells, a priory formerly held by the Augustinian canons; at this time he appears also to have been named vicar general of Ireland for the latter order, all but defunct in Ireland, since he later (in 1629 or 1630) recalled having held that office for ten years. On his way from Rome to Ireland he was awarded a doctorate in theology from the Florence academy. He remained in Ireland until 1627, being recommended as a preacher, and in that year he set out for Rome on his order's business, travelling via Spain, where he appears to have ransomed his brother, captured earlier by Moroccan pirates.
On 18 November 1628 the exiled earl of Tyrconnell opposed Comerford's nomination as bishop of Derry, since he was not a native of the region, but on 2/12 February 1629 he was named bishop of Waterford and Lismore, and he was consecrated in Rome on 8/18 March 1629. He had returned to Ireland by late 1629, and appears to have resided in Waterford with his brother, Philip. Though himself a regular, he was one of the Irish bishops most to the fore in disputes with regular clergy over the orders’ involvement in the cure of souls, their defence of pre-dissolution rights clashing with episcopal efforts to promote a Tridentine parochial system. Comerford was involved in lengthy disputes with both Franciscans and Cistercians in his diocese, but he appears to have attained notable success in his efforts to promote diocesan ecclesiastical and pastoral structures in the 1630s and 1640s. With the other catholic bishops, he was involved in the setting up and operation of the confederate organisation from 1642. He was probably the author of the Inqvisition of a sermon published in Waterford in 1644 by Thomas Bourke (qv). He joined the other bishops in supporting the stance of Archbishop Rinuccini (qv), nuncio to Ireland, in opposing the peace terms negotiated with the earl of Glamorgan (qv) in 1645, which he may earlier have sympathised with, and the 1646 Ormond treaty. He followed Rinuccini again, perhaps with some reluctance, in April-May 1648, when the nuncio's censures against supporters of a confederate truce with Lord Inchiquin (qv) provoked division within the episcopate, and enforced the nuncio's interdict in his dioceses. By the close of 1648, however, he had joined other bishops assembled at Kilkenny, where the terms of the second Ormond peace were being negotiated. With the capture of Waterford by Cromwellian forces on 6 August 1650, he went into exile in France, and died at Nantes 29 February/10 March 1652.