Media information for the Installation of Bishop Brendan Kelly as the new Bishop of Galway

06 Feb 2018

You, or a representative, are invited to attend the Mass of Installation of Bishop Brendan Kelly as the new Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora.  Details:

Time and date            3.00pm Mass on Sunday 11 February 2018

Venue                         Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and Saint Nicholas, Galway city

In attendance             Laity, religious, clergy, family and guests

Media centre, photography and broadcasting
Media Centre
In advance of the Mass, at 2.00pm on Sunday, Father Diarmuid Hogan, Diocesan Communications Officer for the Diocese of Galway, will be available to brief journalists at the dedicated media centre located in the marquee immediately adjacent to the Cathedral (enter through the Cathedral).  The media centre will be open until after the Mass and will offer internet access and refreshments.  Hard copies of the homily to be preached by Bishop Kelly, a fuller account of participants in the installation liturgy, other addresses from the Mass, the booklet (which contains details of the liturgy, the biography of Bishop Brendan Kelly, and an explanation of his Episcopal Coat of Arms) and related information on the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, will be available in the media centre.

Following the conclusion of the Mass, and at the front door of the Cathedral, Bishop Kelly will greet members of the congregation in person.  There will be a brief opportunity for photographs and a short ‘door-step’ interview at this time.

Photographers are asked to please contact Father Hogan on [email protected] to apply for accredidation.  During the Mass, accredited photographers are asked to remain in the reserved area which will be situated to the left of the sanctuary in the Cathedral.  Their absolute discretion, respect and sensitivity to the occasion and location will be expected.  Photographs can be taken:

  • at the arrival to the front door of the Cathedral of Uachtarán na hÉireann, Michael D Higgins at 2.45pm.
  • at the main door of the Cathedral at the beginning of the liturgy, at which point Bishop Kelly will be welcomed.
  • at the Cathedral sanctuary, as the Apostolic Letter is being read out by Canon Michael McLoughin PP and as the Bishops’ chair, heretofore occupied by Bishop Martin Drennan, Bishop Emeritus of Galway, is relinquished by him to his successor.
  • at the end of the liturgy as the newly installed bishop and concelebrating priests process out of the Cathedral, and at the main door of the Cathedral.

Photographers may not take photographs at any other time (from the First Reading to the Final Blessing).  Photographers may not enter the sanctuary area of the Cathedral (ie – behind the altar rails) at any time.  Similar rules apply to television or other video camera personnel. 

The diocese has retained Mr Aengus McMahon as the official photographer for the Installation.  Media may contact Mr McMahon by telephone on +353 (0) 87 246 4770 and/or by email [email protected] to obtain photographs for publication purposes.

Galway Bay FM will broadcast the Mass on and will make this feed available on the day to other media outlets.  Brooks Studios of Ennis are designated by the Diocese of Galway to make a video recording of the liturgy.

In attendance at the Installation ceremony
Family and friends of Bishop Kelly; local and national public representatives from the constituency; representatives of Church groups from the Diocesan Pastoral Centre, and representatives of civic society will be in attendance at the Mass.  Music for the ceremony will be performed by the choir of the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and Saint Nicholas under the direction of Mr Raymond O’Donnell.

Notes to Editors

  • His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Bishop Brendan Kelly as Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora on 11 December 2017.  Bishop Martin Drennan is bishop emeritus of the diocese, having retired in July of 2016.  The Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora includes portions of counties Galway, Mayo and Clare.  The Patron Saints of the diocese are Our Lady Assumed into Heaven, Saint Colman and Saint Fachanan.  According to the Irish Catholic Directory 2018 the diocese has a Catholic population of 108,827 and consists of 40 parishes and 71 churches.  There are 44 diocesan priests in active ministry in the diocese and 28 others who are currently working in other dioceses, retired, on study or on sick leave.  Living and working in the diocese, from religious congregations, there are 39 priests, 21 Brothers and 219 Sisters.  The Bishop of Galway is patron of 85 primary schools, and there are 20 voluntary secondary schools and State schools in the diocese.
  • Please see below information on the life and ministry of Bishop Brendan Kelly:

Born in Derrybrien in the parish of Ballinakill, Co Galway on 20 May 1946 to Sean and Annie Kelly, Bishop Brendan was the second of nine children.  He attended Craughwell National School and subsequently boarded at Saint Mary’s Diocesan College in Galway city.

Following the completion of his Leaving Certificate examination in 1964, he applied to and was accepted by the then bishop, Michael Brown, to study for diocesan priesthood in the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora.   He started his studies in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth in September of that year.

As a seminarian Bishop Brendan completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1967 and a Bachelor of Divinity Degree in 1970.

He was ordained to the priesthood on 20 June 1971 by Bishop Brown in the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and Saint Nicholas.  His first appointment was to the parish of Kinvara as a curate before being appointed to the teaching staff of Coláiste Éinde in Salthill in 1972, completing a Higher Diploma in Education in the then University College Galway (now the National University of Ireland, Galway) in 1973.

Bishop Brendan remained on the staff of Coláiste Éinde until 1980 when he was transferred to the teaching staff of Our Lady’s College, Gort, becoming President in 1986.

Following the 1995 amalgamation of the three Gort secondary schools, Bishop Brendan undertook sabbatical leave from his diocese for one year and went to live with the L’Arche Community at Cuise-la-Motte in France.  Founded by Jean Vanier in 1964, the worldwide L’Arche movement seeks to create inclusive, creative and caring families where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work in friendship, joy and mutual respect.

Returning to his diocese in 1996, Bishop Brendan was appointed by Bishop James McLoughlin as Parish Priest of Lisdoonvarna in Co Clare and subsequently as Parish Priest of An Spidéal in 2003.

On 20 November 2007, Bishop Brendan was named by Pope Benedict XVI as the Bishop of Achonry, succeeding recently retired Bishop Thomas Flynn.  On 27 January 2008 he was ordained to the episcopate by Cardinal Seán Brady in the Cathedral of the Annunciation and Saint Nathy in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon.

On 11 December 2017 Pope Francis named Bishop Brendan as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora, succeeding Bishop Martin Drennan.

Bishop Brendan’s episcopal motto is ‘De réir d’fhocail’ (‘According to your word’ Lk 1:38).  He:           

  • is a fluent Irish speaker and has a working knowledge of the French language;
  • was a member of the Standing Committee of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference for six years;
  • is a member of the Bishops’ Council of the Liturgy;
  • is a member of the Bishops’ An Coiste Comhairleach um Liotúirge i nGaeilge;
  • is a member of the Bishops’ Commission for Catholic Education and Formation;
  • is Chairman of the Bishops’ Council for Education;
  • is a member of The Council for the West.


For media contact: Father Diarmuid Hogan 00353 (0) 86 888 8642 and the Catholic Communications Office Maynooth 00353 (1) 505 3017