Bishop Fintan Gavin announces the death of Archbishop Patrick Coveney RIP

25 Oct 2022

Bishop Fintan Gavin has announced that the death has occurred of Archbishop Patrick Coveney.  Since his retirement as Apostolic Nuncio to Greece in 2009, Archbishop Coveney resided in Crosshaven Parish in the Diocese of Cork and Ross.

Archbishop Coveney was born in 1934 and is a native of Tracton Abbey Parish.  In 1959, in Rome, he was ordained as a priest of the Diocese of Cork and Ross.  His first pastoral appointment was in Kidlington, Archdiocese of Bermingham, for one year before joining the staff of Saint Finbarr’s Seminary, Farranferris, Cork, from 1960 – 1966.

In 1966 Archbishop Coveney joined the Secretariat of State in the Vatican and then entered the Pontifical Ecclesial Academy in 1969.  He served as Secretary to the Apostolic Nuncio in Argentina from 1972 -1976 after which he returned to Rome to re-join the Secretariat of State until 1982.  He then moved to New Delhi until 1984 as counsellor to the Nunciature, and then to Khartoum in Sudan until 1985.  He was consecrated as Titular Archbishop of Satrianum in the Cathedral of Saint Mary and Saint Anne in the Diocese of Cork and Ross on 15 September 1985 and was appointed as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Zimbabwe and Apostolic Delegate to Mozambique until 1990.  He then served as Apostolic Pro-Nuncio to Ethiopia residing in Addis Ababa as well as Apostolic Delegate to Djibouti until 1996.

In 1996 Archbishop Coveney was appointed as Apostolic Nuncio to New Zealand, residing in Wellington.  In this period he also served as Apostolic Nuncio to Samoa, Tonga, Marshall Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Vanuatu, Nauru, Cook Islands and Palau.  He was appointed in 2005 as Apostolic Nuncio to Greece residing in Athens until his retirement in 2009.

From 2009 Archbishop Coveney returned to the diocese to reside in Crosshaven Parish.  He assisted in this parish as well as celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation in many parishes throughout the diocese at the invitation of Bishop Gavin and the former Bishop of Cork and Ross, Bishop John Buckley.

Archbishop Coveney is survived by his loving sister Nora (Murphy), sister-in-law Molly Coveney, nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces, Bishop Gavin and all of his clerical colleagues, parishioners, relatives and friends.  He will lay in rest from today, Tuesday 25 October in Saint Brigid’s Church, Crosshaven, from 5.30pm until the celebration of Vespers at 7.00pm.  Requiem Mass is on Wednesday 26 October at 11.00am with burial afterwards in Ballyfeard Cemetery.  May Archbishop Coveney rest in peace.


  • Bishop Fintan Gavin is Bishop of Cork and Ross

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long +353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Cork and Ross: Father Tom Hayes +353 (0) 87 262 9154.