Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Dr Dermot Farrell as the new Archbishop of Dublin. Archbishop-elect Farrell, who was formerly the Bishop of Ossory, replaces the Most Reverend Archbishop Diarmuid Martin, whose retirement becomes effective from today.
Farrell, who was born in Co Westmeath, Ireland, has held several different roles in the priesthod. Most recently, in 2019, he was elected Finance Secretary of the Irish Bishops’ Conference.
The Bishop of Meath, Tom Deenihan, congratulated Farrell on his appointment. "I offer my sincere congratulations and prayers to Bishop Dermot Farrell, a former priest of the Diocese of Meath, on his appointment by Pope Francis as Archbishop of Dublin," he said. "I know that his appointment will be welcomed by the priests and people of the Diocese of Meath and, particularly of Castletown Geoghegan, his native parish, and of Dunboyne & Kilbride, where he served as Parish Priest until his appointment as Bishop of Ossory three years ago.
"Archbishop-Elect Dermot served in this diocese with total commitment, integrity, courage and energy and is remembered with admiration and held in the highest esteem. These attributes will serve him well as he begins a new ministry as Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland. While the task is not easy, Archbishop-Elect Dermot has the experience and qualities for the post as well as the good wishes, prayers and pride of the people of Castletown Geoghegan, Dunboyne and the Diocese of Meath."
The President of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Eamon Martin, added his welcome to the new Archbishop-elect, calling him a "hardworking and personable colleague with many skills and qualities to bring to his new ministry as Archbishop of Dublin".
"With my fellow bishops, and with laity, religious and clergy from across the country, I offer him my prayerful support as he undertakes the huge responsibility of shepherding the People of God in Ireland’s largest diocese and capital city," Martin added.
Other church officials paid tribute to Archbishop Martin as he enters retirement.
"Today is also a significant day for Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who is able to set aside the burden of office after serving as Archbishop of Dublin for sixteen years," Bishop Deenihan added. "I wish him health and happiness in retirement and assure him that his ministry and contribution to the critical areas of the Church’s response and approach to the survivors of clerical abuse and to the role of the Church in education have been appreciated, have served the Church well and will be remembered positively."
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin added:
"When my appointment as Archbishop was formally announced, Cardinal Connell at the Press Conference began by saying: “This is not my day; today is the day of the new Archbishop”. I echo these sentiments as I greet and ask God’s blessing on my successor, Archbishop-elect Dermot Farrell.
"Some months earlier, on the first Sunday after my nomination as Coadjutor Archbishop, I came to this Church to celebrate Mass. I remember well during the readings being distracted and I began counting the numbers attending the Mass. I got to twenty but then I thought I saw a woman behind one pillar and another behind another pillar. Eventually I got to 25.
"Only a few weeks ago, I said Mass here and the number was 50, the maximum number allowed. Things have happened over the years and this is a vibrant parish with great people – indeed courageous people who take real leadership in their community. It has a great school. The parish serves people in their joys and in their many difficulties and sorrows and challenges. The Salesian Fathers and the Parish Sister have done great work.
"The last time I brought a visitor to this parish it was Pope Francis. This is the only simple Parish Church in Ireland ever visited by a Pope. Bishop Farrell you have a lot to live up to!
"I am really delighted that Archbishop-elect Farrell has chosen this parish at the start of his ministry. It shows where his heart lies."