Bishop Noël Treanor announces diocesan appointments for the Diocese of Down and Connor for 2022

13 Jul 2022

Bishop Noël Treanor announces diocesan appointments for the Diocese of Down and Connor for 2022

Having reviewed the pastoral needs of the people of the Diocese of Down and Connor, Bishop Noël Treanor has made the following appointments, which take effect from Friday 5 August:

Mensal Parishes

The mensal parishes of St Peter’s Cathedral, St Patrick’s, St Mary’s, St Colmcille’s and Holy Family, of which the Bishop was Parish Priest, no longer exists in canon law. With the exception of St Peter’s Cathedral, which is the “seat” of the bishop, the so-called mensal parishes will now have a Parish Priest as its proper pastor (cf can 515 §1) rather than an Administrator.

  • Very Rev Timothy Bartlett to be PP St Mary’s, Belfast
  • Very Rev Conor McGrath to be PP St Colmcille’s, Belfast and, in addition, Director of Vocations
  • Very Rev Eugene O’Neill to be PP St Patrick’s, Belfast
  • Very Rev Michael Spence to be PP Holy Family, Belfast

Parish Priests/Adm

  • Very Rev Vincent Cushnahan to be PP St Vincent de Paul, Belfast.
  • Very Rev Patrick Devlin to be PP Hannahstown.
  • Very Rev Anthony Fitzsimons to be PP Carnlough and PP Glenarm (Tickmacreevan)
  • Very Rev Raymond McCullagh to be PP St Agnes, Belfast and Vicar Forane (West Belfast Pastoral Community)
  • Very Rev Michael McGinnity to be PP Ballymena (Kirkinriola) and Vicar Forane (Ballymena Pastoral Community)
  • Very Rev Thomas McGlynn to be PP St Malachy’s, Belfast.
  • Very Rev Kevin McGuckien to be PP Coleraine, PP Portrush & Bushmills and PP Portstewart and Vicar Forane (North Connor Pastoral Community)
  • Very Rev James Madden O. Praem to be Adm Sacred Heart, Belfast.
  • Very Rev Paul Strain to be PP Glenravel and The Braid (Skerry)

Assistant Priests (Curates)

  • Rev Joe Davis to be CC Ballymena.
  • Rev Paul Morely to be CC St Bernadette’s and CC Holy Rosary, Belfast.
  • Rev Robert Sloan to be CC Holy Family, Belfast.

Hospital Chaplaincy

  • Very Rev Darach MacGiolla Catháin to be Chaplain to Royal Victoria Hospital and Belfast Trust residing at Derriaghy.


  • Very Rev Msgr Patrick Delargy to be Pastor Emeritus and to assist as Priest in partial ministry and resident in Portrush.
  • Very Rev Austin McGirr to be Pastor Emeritus and take a period of sabbatical leave.
  • Very Rev Dermot McKay to be Pastor Emeritus and to assist as Priest in partial ministry and resident in Ballinlea.

Further Studies

  • Rev Andrew Black to continue post-graduate studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome.
  • Rev John O’Laverty to continue post-graduate studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome.

Diocesan Cathedral Chapter

In addition to the above diocesan appointments, Bishop Noël Treanor appoint the following clergy as Canons of the Cathedral Chapter:

Cathedral Chapter of Down and Connor

  • Very Rev Brian Daly, Ballycastle (Ramoan)
  • Very Rev Sean Emerson, Antrim
  • Very Rev Robert Fleck, Dundrum & Tyrella
  • Very Rev John Forsythe, Randalstown
  • Very Rev Sean Gilmore, Lower Mourne
  • Very Rev Joseph Gunn, Bangor
  • Very Rev Colm McBride, Glenavy & Killead
  • Very Rev Denis McKinlay, Castlewellan (Kilmegan)
  • Very Rev Patrick McWilliams, Duneane (Moneyglass, Toome & Cargin)
  • Very Rev John Murray, Downpatrick
  • Very Rev Edward O’Donnell, St Brigid’s, Belfast
  • Very Rev Hugh Joe O’Hagan, Ahoghill

Bishop Noël Treanor appoints ex auctoritate episcopi the following retired clergy as Honorary Canons

  • Very Rev Brendan Beagon PE
  • Very Rev Aidan Kerr PE
  • Very Rev Austin McGirr PE
  • Very Rev Paddy McKenna PE
  • Very Rev Daniel Whyte PE

Commenting on the appointments Bishop Noël Treanor said, “I would like to record my thanks to all involved in and affected by these appointments for their co-operation and I wish them God’s blessing, good health and fulfilment in their respective ministries.

“On behalf of the faithful of the diocese, and the bishops with whom they have served, I extend my heartfelt thanks to the Very Rev Monsignor Patrick Delargy, the Very Rev Austin McGirr and the Very Rev Dermot McKay who have relinquished the office of Parish Priest after many years of ministry and fruitful service. With the people of our diocese, I am very grateful to them for their willingness to be of continued pastoral service to the diocese.”

Bishop Noël Treanor went on to say, “My thanks and best wishes also go to Rev Aloysius Lumala who has served within Down and Connor for 10 years while pursuing post-graduate studies in St Mary’s University College, Belfast, and St Patrick’s Pontifical University Maynooth and who now returns to his native Diocese of Kampala, Uganda.

“‘The Harvest is rich but the labourers are few, so ask the Lord of the harvest to send labourers to his harvest.’ (Luke 10:2) As the clergy of the diocese take up these new appointments and as they continue to serve the sacramental and pastoral needs throughout the diocese, I commend us all to continue to pray for vocations.”


Notes to editors

The following Prayer for Vocations has been made available for the diocese of Down and Connor:

Loving and Generous God, it is You who call us by name and ask us to follow you.

Help us to grow in the Love and service of our Church as we experience it today.

Give us the energy and courage of Your Spirit to shape its future.

Grant us faith-filled leaders who will embrace Christ’s Mission of love and justice.

Bless the Church by raising up dedicated and generous leaders from our families and friends who will serve Your people as Sisters, Priests, Brothers, Permanent Deacons and Lay Ministers.

Inspire us to know You better and open our hearts to hear Your call.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.