Pope Francis accepts the retirement of Bishop Martin Drennan on grounds of ill health and on medical advice

29 Jul 2016

His Holiness Pope Francis has accepted the retirement of Most Reverend Martin Drennan, Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh, and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora, on grounds of ill health and on medical advice. This announcement was made today in Rome at 12:00 local time (11:00am Irish time).


Notes for Editors

Life and ministry of Bishop Martin Drennan

  • Martin Drennan was born on 2 January 1944 in Piltown, County Kilkenny. Educated at Tobernabrone National School and Saint Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, he studied for the priesthood at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, from where he was ordained to the priesthood in 1968. His brother Michael is also a priest.
  • Following his Ordination, he continued his studies in Rome where he was awarded a Licentiate in both Sacred Theology and Sacred Scripture.
  • On his return to Ireland, he served as curate in both Saint Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Kilkenny and then in Ballycallan. From 1975 he taught Sacred Scripture at Saint Kieran’s College, returning to Rome in 1980 to become Spiritual Director at the Pontifical Irish College there for the next five years.
  • When Father Martin again returned home, he became a Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, where he continued to teach until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997. His area of pastoral responsibility in that time was East Wicklow and South Dublin.
  • Following the retirement of Bishop James McLoughlin, Bishop Drennan was appointed as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora and he was installed on 3 July 2005 in Galway Cathedral.
  • In the subsequent eleven years, Bishop Drennan has instigated and overseen many worthy initiatives and developments in the diocese including the founding of the Good Shepherd Parish at the east edge of Galway city and the reordering of parish boundaries and personnel throughout the diocese in response to changing demographics. Last year, he welcomed Cardinal Sean O’Malley to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the dedication of Galway Cathedral. And in this, his last year as shepherd to the people of the diocese, Bishop Drennan had the joy of ordaining three young men to the priesthood.


  • A high resolution photograph of Bishop Drennan is available on request from the Catholic Communications Office: (01) 505 3017

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444