A priest who has worked as a teacher and school principal has been appointed Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois.
Fr Francis Duffy, from the parish of Laragh, Co Cavan, was named the new head of the diocese by Pope Francis and succeeds Bishop Colm O’Reilly.
Cardinal Sean Brady said he is confident Fr Duffy has the gifts and qualities needed for the job.
“His experience in Catholic education, parish ministry and diocesan administration have shown his excellent ability to lead people by word and example and prepared him well for this day,” he said.
Fr Duffy will be in control of Ardagh and Clonmacnois which includes 41 parishes covering Co Longford, most of Leitrim and parts of Cavan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath.
The 53-year-old, ordained a priest for the Diocese of Kilmore in June 1982, taught history, religion and Irish for 11 years in St Patrick’s College, Cavan and was principal of Fatima and Felim’s Secondary School, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim, for 12 years from 1996.
Outgoing Bishop O’Reilly also paid tribute to his successor at a ceremony in St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford town.
“Father Francis has a wide range of experience in ministry, as teacher, secondary school principal and diocesan secretary,” he said.
“His current position in the parish of Laragh adds, at first hand, an understanding of ministry in the parish context. All this experience will stand him in good stead in his new ministry.”