Pope Benedict XVI announces that Monsignor Brendan Kelly is to be the new Bishop of the Diocese of Achonry

20 Nov 2007


20th November 2007

Pope Benedict XVI announces Monsignor Brendan Kelly as the new Bishop of Achonry


The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has appointed the Rt Rev Mgr Brendan Kelly VG, currently Parish Priest of Spiddal, Co Galway, to succeed the Most Rev Thomas Flynn as Bishop of the Diocese of Achonry.

A date for the Episcopal Ordination has not yet been set and until the new Bishop takes formal possession of the diocese, Bishop Flynn will continue as the Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Achonry.

Monsignor Brendan Kelly was born at Derrybrien, Loughrea, Co Galway, on 20 May 1946, and was baptised there on 26 May 1946. He is the son of the late Annie and Sean Kelly, NT, and the second in a family of nine children. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation at Craughwell, in the Diocese of Galway, on 28 May 1957.

Following his early education at Craughwell National School, he attended St Mary’s College, Galway, from 1959 to 1964. He began his studies for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, in 1964 and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Galway by the Most Rev Michael Browne in Galway Cathedral on 20 June 1971. While at Maynooth he was awarded the degree of Bachelor of Arts and that of Bachelor of Divinity, and he later obtained his Higher Diploma in Education at University College Galway in 1973.

Having served for a year as Curate in the Parish of Kinvara, Co Galway, he held a number of academic posts. From 1972 to 1980 he taught in the diocesan post-primary college, Coláiste Einde, and, similarly, from 1980 to 1986 in Our Lady’s College, Gort, of which he was subsequently President from 1986 to 1995.

In 1995/1996 he received Sabbatical leave and served as Chaplain to the “L’Arche” community at Cuise-la-Motte in France. In 1996 he was appointed Parish Priest of Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, and on 19 June 2002 he was created a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter and became Vicar Forane for the deanery of Kilfenora.

From 2003 until the present day he has been Parish Priest of Spiddal, Co Galway. In 2005 he was also appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Galway by the Most Rev Martin Drennan, and on 6 March 2006, Pope Benedict XVI conferred upon him the honour of Chaplain of His Holiness.


Notes for Editors

  • A press conference regarding this announcement will be held in the Presbytery beside the Cathedral of the Annunciation and St Nathy, Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon at 12:00 today 20 November 2007 at which Bishop Thomas Flynn and Bishop-elect Brendan Kelly will be present. An electronic photograph of Bishop-elect Kelly will be available from the Catholic Communications Office from 1:00 pm.
  • Bishop Thomas Flynn was Ordained Bishop for the Diocese of Achonry on the 20 February 1977.
  • The Diocese of Achonry consists of (2005 figures): 39 priests active in the diocese; 47 Catholic Churches and 23 parishes. The diocese covers part of the counties of Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo. The Catholic population of the diocese is 35,224. please see Achonry Diocese www.achonrydiocese.org
  • The Patron Saints of the Diocese are: St Nathy and St Attracta.

Further information:

Martin Long Director of Communications (086 172 7678)
Kathy Tynan Communications Officer (086 817 5674)