Pope Francis appoints Bishop Dermot Farrell as the new Archbishop of Dublin

29 Dec 2020

The Holy Father, Pope Francis, has appointed the Most Reverend Dr Dermot Farrell, until now Bishop of Ossory, as Archbishop of Dublin.

Archbishop-elect Farrell replaces the Most Reverend Archbishop Diarmuid Martin whose request for retirement has been accepted by Pope Francis, and becomes effective from today, the day of the appointment of his successor.  The date for taking over the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Dublin will be announced at a later time and, during the interregnum until the installation of the new Archbishop, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Martin by Decree as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Dublin with all the rights, faculties and duties of a diocesan bishop.  Bishop Farrell becomes Archbishop-elect of Dublin and continues in the capacity of the Administrator of the Diocese of Ossory.

Statements on the announcement of the appointment of the new Archbishop of Dublin:

Click on the links below to read statements in response to the appointment of Bishop Dermot Farrell as Archbishop of Dublin. 

Address of Bishop Dermot Farrell on his appointment as Archbishop of Dublin

Words of Archbishop Diarmuid Martin at the announcement of the appointment of Bishop Dermot Farrell as next Archbishop of Dublin

Archbishop Eamon Martin welcomes the appointment of Bishop Dermot Farrell as Archbishop of Dublin

Archbishop Eamon Martin pays tribute to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin on his retirement as Archbishop of Dublin

Bishop Tom Deenihan congratulates Bishop Dermot Farrell on his appointment as Archbishop of Dublin

Bishop Kevin Doran welcomes the appointment of Bishop Dermot Farrell as Archbishop of Dublin

Statement of the President of Saint Patrick’s College Maynooth on the appointment of Archbishop-elect Dermot Farrell

Statements of congratulations from Twitter: 

Bishop Fintan Monahan of Killable tweeted: “Congrats and every blessing and good wish to Bishop Dermot from all in Killaloe Diocese. May God be with you in your new pastoral role.” 

Bishop Denis Nulty of Kildare and Leighlin tweeted: “All of us in Kildare and Leighlin assure Archbishop-elect Dermot Farrell just appointed to Dublin Diocese every blessing, prayer and support – he has been a wonderful neighbour, collaborator and friend in Ossory Diocese.”

Bishop Paul Dempsey of Achonry Diocese tweeted: “Best wishes to Bishop Dermot Farrell of Ossory Diocese on his appointment as the new Archbishop of Dublin. May the Spirit guide Bishop Dermot in the challenges ahead.”

The Embassy of Ireland to the Holy See tweeted: “We wish Bishop Dermot Farrell the very best in his important new role – Beir be a charm! We also wish Archbishop Diarmuid Martin a long, healthy and peaceful retirement.”

Life and ministry of Archbishop-elect Dermot Farrell:

Dermot Farrell was born in 1954, the eldest of seven children of the late Dermot and Carmel Farrell, in Garthy, Castletown-Geoghegan, Co Westmeath, in the Diocese of the Meath.  

After his primary education in Castletown-Geoghegan and Streamstown, he attended Saint Finian’s College, Mullingar.  In September 1972 he began his studies for the priesthood at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, obtaining a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1976, as part of his philosophical studies.   During his theological studies he was awarded a Bachelor in Divinity Degree in 1979 and a licence is Theology in 1981, both by the Pontifical University, Maynooth.  

He was ordained to the priesthood in Saint Michael’s Church, Castletown-Geoghegan on 7 June 1980.

Upon the completion of his studies he was appointed as Curate in the Cathedral Parish of Christ the King, Mullingar.  In 1985 he began doctoral studies in the Gregorian University and, in 1988, was awarded a Doctoral Degree in Theology , for a dissertation entitled: The Dogmatic Foundations of Bernard Häring’s Thought on Christian Morality as a Sacramental Way of Life

His final year in Rome also saw him serving as a Director of Formation in the Pontifical Irish College.  

Following his return from Rome he was appointed Curate in Tullamore Parish and in 1989-90 he began lecturing in Moral Theology at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.  In 1990 the Maynooth College Trustees appointed him Executive Assistant to the President of College and to membership of the Faculty of Theology, holding the post of Director of the one-year Religious Studies Programme.  In 1993 he was appointed Vice-President of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, and in 1996 was appointed President of the College, a position he held until his retirement in 2007.

In 1997 he was named as an Honorary Prelate of his Holiness.  From September 2007 until 2018 he served as Parish Priest of Dunboyne and Kilbride Parish, Co Meath, and was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Meath in 2009. 

Bishop Farrell has extensive administrative experience: he has served on various boards and committees, among them, the Board of Allianz plc; the Governing Body of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth; the Theological Department Irish Inter-Church Committee, and as National Director of the Permanent Diaconate, and he is currently Chairman of Veritas Communications.

His appointment as Bishop of Ossory by Pope Francis was announced on 3 January 2018, and he was ordained bishop in Saint Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny, on 11 March 2018. 

He was elected Finance Secretary of the Irish Bishops’ Conference in March 2019. 

Bishop Farrell’s episcopal motto “Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini” is taken from Psalm 124.