News Archive 2020

Pope Francis appoints Father Paul Dempsey as the new Bishop of Achonry

His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed Father Paul Dempsey, PP of Newbridge in the Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin, as Bishop of the Diocese of Achonry.  The news of this Episcopal appointment will be made public at 11.00am Irish time (12.00 noon today in the Vatican).

You are invited to a photo opportunity this morning following 11.00am Mass in the Cathedral of the Annunciation and Saint Nathy, Ballaghderreen, Co Roscommon.  This Mass will be concelebrated by His Excellency Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, Bishop-elect Paul Dempsey and Father Dermot Meehan, Diocesan Administrator of the Diocese of Achonry.

ENDS

  • Life and ministry of Father Paul Dempsey

Father Paul Dempsey was born in Carlow Town on 20 of April, 1971.  He is the youngest in his family, having one brother and two sisters. 

In 1978 his family moved to Athy, Co Kildare where he was educated by the Christian Brothers at primary and secondary level.  He joined the seminary in 1989.  His studies took place in the Milltown Institute, Dublin, Saint Patrick’s College, Carlow and All Hallows College, Dublin.  During his formation for the priesthood his mother, Berry, died from cancer in February 1994 and his father, Tony, died suddenly twelve days later. 

He was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Carlow, by Bishop Laurence Ryan, on 6 July 1997. 

Father Paul’s first appointment was as curate in Clane & Rathcoffey Parish, Co Kildare.  It was during this time that he started a weekly article in the Leinster Leader newspaper.  After seven years he moved to Kildare Town as curate and was also appointed Youth Director and Vocations Director for the diocese by Bishop Jim Moriarty.  During this time, Father Paul organised two diocesan World Youth Day pilgrimages to Cologne (2005) and Sydney (2008) as well as many other youth initiatives.  Father Paul also presented a weekly religious and social affairs programme on Kildare FM Radio on Sunday mornings.

In 2008, Father Paul did further studies in the Milltown Institute, Dublin.  He completed an Honours Master’s Degree in Theology in the area of Faith & Culture.  His thesis was entitled “The Contemporary Irish Catholic Church – A Church in Crisis or in Question?”

On completion of his studies, Father Paul took up his appointment as curate in parish cluster of Naas, Sallins and Two-Mile-House in 2009.  In August, 2014, Bishop Denis Nulty appointed Father Paul to Newbridge Parish and also as Vicar Forane for the Kildare & Leighlin North Deanery consisting of 17 parishes.

On 1 September 2015, Father Paul was appointed Parish Priest of Newbridge and Administrator of Caragh and Prosperous Parishes.  The parish has approximately 32,000 parishioners.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm +353 (0) 87 310 4444.

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