Pope Francis appoints Father Alphonsus Cullinan as Bishop of Waterford & Lismore

02 Feb 2015

His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Father Alphonsus Cullinan as the new Bishop of Waterford & Lismore.  This announcement will be made today in the Vatican at 12.00pm local time (11.00am Irish time).

This morning media are invited to attend at the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity, Waterford, to meet with Bishop-elect Cullinan after the celebration of 10:30am Mass.  Also in attendance at the announcement will be local parishioners; His Excellency the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Charles Brown;  Bishop William Lee, Bishop Emeritus of Waterford & Lismore; and Monsignor Nicholas O’Mahony, the Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore.  Please see below an overview of the life and ministry of Bishop-elect Cullinan.


Life and ministry of Bishop-elect Alphonsus Cullinan

  • Father Cullinan was born in Lahinch, County Clare in 1959 to Christy and Rita and has four sisters and five brothers.  Father Cullinan is a priest of the diocese of Limerick.  His family moved to Limerick city where he attended the Salesians for early education, John F Kennedy National School and the Crescent College Comprehensive (SJ) for his secondary education.  From 1978-1981 he attended Mary Immaculate College of Education Limerick and qualified as a primary teacher (B.Ed) in 1981, and taught for six years in Castleconnell, County Limerick. He worked part-time during that time for four years with the Bunratty Castle Entertainers before going to Spain where he taught English for two years in a school in Valladolid.  Father Cullinan studied at Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth from 1989-95 where he completed an STL (Licentiate in Theology).  He was ordained by Bishop Jeremiah Newman in 1994 in Saint John’s Cathedral, Limerick, and appointed Curate in Saint Munchin’s Parish Limerick city 1995-1996.  Father Cullinan’s next appointment was as chaplain to the Regional Hospital in Limerick from 1996 until 2001.  He studied for his doctorate in moral theology in the Alfonsianum in Rome 2001-2004.  Appointed chaplain to the Limerick Institute of Technology 2004-2011.   He was appointed Parish Priest of Rathkeale , County Limerick in 2011.
  • Bishop William Lee, Bishop Emeritus of Waterford & Lismore, retired on the grounds of ill-health on 1 October 2013.  Monsignor Nicholas O’Mahony has been the Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Waterford & Lismore since 11 October 2013.  The Diocese of Waterford & Lismore includes County Waterford, and part of Counties Tipperary and Cork.  There are 45 parishes, 85 Churches and a Catholic population of 152,107.  The patrons of the Diocese are Saint Otteran, Saint Carthage and Saint Declan.

Notes to Editors

  • Photographs from today’s announcement in Waterford will be available from photographer John McElroy on +353 (0) 87 241 6985.  A photograph of Bishop-elect Cullinan is available from the Catholic Communications Office, Maynooth.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: 00 353 (1) 5053017 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444; Martin Long in Waterford 00353 (0) 86 172 7678