The death has occurred, after a lengthy illness, of the emeritus auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, Dermot O’ Mahony, Titular Bishop of Tiava. He was aged 80.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin expressed his sympathy to the family and friends of Bishop O’ Mahony and said priests of the Archdiocese were saddened by the news of his passing as he held, over many years, several roles of leadership and responsibility in the Archdiocese of Dublin and nationally.
Bishop O’ Mahony was ordained a priest by Archbishop John Charles Mc Quaid in Holy Cross College, Clonliffe in 1960. Like many Dublin priests, he went on to study at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome for four years following his ordination.
He served for a brief period as an assistant priest in Clonskeagh parish before being appointed Professor of Holy Cross College in Clonliffe in 1965. He would also serve as Dean and Director of Students in Mater Dei Institute of Education.
In 1970 he was appointed Curate in Grange Park parish and also became a member of the Priests’ Council in the Archdiocese. In 1974 he was made parish administrator in Donaghmede and would also be elected Vicar Forane for the Howth deanery.
On Sunday 13th April 1975, he became one of the youngest Bishops ever appointed in Ireland when he was made auxiliary Bishop aged just 40. The following day he was appointed Vicar General in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
A Canon Lawyer, Bishop O’ Mahony was made Chancellor of the Archdiocese in May 1975, a position he would hold for the following six years.
At national level, he chaired the Irish Bishops’ Commission for Justice and Peace during a turbulent time in Northern Ireland. He was active in supporting prison chaplains in the Maze prison, also known as Long Kesh. The Chaplains praised the support work carried out by Dermot O’ Mahony at this time in a ministry that has been described one marked by integrity and appreciated by prisoners, their families, and the prison authorities.
Bishop O’ Mahony was also a member of the Dublin Diocesan College of Consultors and the Metropolitan Chapter. He retired as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin on health grounds in June 1996 but despite this continued to play an active role in Diocesan life.
He lived the latter years of his retirement in Swords. He is survived by his brother Gerry O’ Mahony, sister-in-law Berna, niece Fiona, and nephew Tony. He was predeceased by another nephew, also Dermot.
His funeral will take place next week. Archbishop Diarmuid Martin will receive the remains at 6.30 pm on Monday 14th December in St. Anne’s Church, Shankill in Dublin. The Funeral Mass will take place at 12 noon on Tuesday 15th December with burial afterwards to Shanganagh cemetery.
May he rest in peace.
Annette O Donnell, Director of Communications, Archdiocese of Dublin, 087 8143462