DONAL MURRAY, now aged 69, was brought up in Mount Merrion in Dublin. His father, Tom, a native of Templederry in North Tipperary, was a senior civil servant who went on to become chairman of the ESB.
After Blackrock College, Donal Murray went to Clonliffe College seminary and did an MA at UCD at the same time.
He then spent four years in Maynooth before being ordained in 1966.
He was sent to Rome for the first three years of his priesthood by Archbishop McQuaid, staying in the French and German colleges.
On his return he went to lecture at the Mater Dei Institute.
After 12 years as a lecturer, he was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Dublin by Archbishop Dermot Ryan and consecrated in April 1982.
After the death of Bishop Jeremiah Newman in 1996 he was appointed Bishop of Limerick.
In an interview in 1998, he said it was right that scandals emerging in the Church should be brought out into the open.
He said: “When something terrible happens it is right that it comes out. I think there has been some over-simplification. There was a lot of talk about the paedophile priests and so on, as if it was a problem with the clergy. In fact, it is, but it is even a bigger, a universal problem.
“I think there was a danger there that people were looking in the wrong direction. It is a huge problem and a huge pain for the Church and even more so for the victims. I think originally it was being looked at too narrowly. I think we have to look at it as a problem which has its ramifications all over society. I don’t think you can minimise it.”
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved