Announcement by Pope Benedict XVI on the resignation of Bishop William Walsh

18 May 2010

18 May 2010

Announcement by Pope Benedict XVI on the resignation of Bishop William Walsh

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Most Reverend William Walsh, and has appointed Reverend Kieran O’Reilly, SMA, as Bishop of Killaloe. This announcement was made today in Rome at 12:00 local time (11:00am Irish time).

Notes to Editors:

  • A photograph of Reverend Kieran O’Reilly is available from the Catholic Communications Office.
  • Fr Kieran Andrew O’Reilly was born in Cork, on 8 August 1952.  His parents, Seán O’Reilly and Theresa (née) Conway, were devoted to the practice of their Catholic faith.  His father took an active part in politics for a number of years and held at one time the office of Deputy Lord Mayor of Cork.
  • Having completed his primary and secondary education in Cork, Kieran joined the Society of African Missions in 1970 at Wilton in Cork. He went on to pursue higher studies at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, where he obtained a degree in Letters in 1974, in Sacred Theology in 1977, and a Diploma in Missionary Studies in 1978.  After further study at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, he obtained his Licentiate in Sacred Scripture in 1984.
  • A fully professed member of the Society of African Missions since 10 April 1977, Kieran was ordained a priest on 17 June 1978.  There followed two years of pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Monrovia, Liberia, before Fr O’Reilly returned to Rome to complete his Biblical studies (1980-1984).  He then lectured for five years in that subject in the Major Seminary of Ibadan in Nigeria (1984-1988).
  • In recent years, Fr O’Reilly has been called upon to assume increasing responsibilities within his own Society.  From 1990 to 1995, he was a member of the Provincial Council of the Irish Province of the SMA, and in May 1995 he was elected Vicar General of the Society at the XVII General Assembly.  In 2001 he was elected Superior General of the SMA and was re-elected for a second term of office in 2007.  In his latter capacity, he has been residing in Rome.  Besides English and Irish, Fr O’Reilly also speaks French and Italian.


Further information:
Martin Long, Director of Communications 086 172 7678
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer, 087 310 4444