Media diary notice for the Episcopal Ordination of Paul Connell as the new Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois

17 Jun 2023

You, or a representative, are invited to the celebration of Mass for the Episcopal Ordination of Bishop-elect Paul Connell as Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois. Please contact the Catholic Communications Office in advance if you wish to attend. Details:

Date and time Sunday 18 June 2023, at 3.00pm
Venue Saint Mel’s Cathedral, Longford, Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois
In attendance Laity, religious, clergy, family and guests

Ordination ceremony
The principal consecrator for the Mass will be Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, and he will be assisted by co-consecrators Archbishop Francis Duffy, Archbishop of Tuam, and by Bishop Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath. The new Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, His Excellency Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor, will preside at this Mass. In addition to the consecrators, the Mass will be concelebrated by Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop Emeritus of Armagh, members of the Irish Bishops’ Conference, both serving and retired and other clergy present. Father Michael McGrath CC of Saint Mel’s Parish, Longford, will preach the homily and Saint Mel’s Cathedral Choir will perform the music throughout the liturgy under the direction of Mr Fintan Farrelly. The organists will be Dr John O’Keeffe and Mr Gerard Lillis. The Master of Ceremonies will be Father Turlough Baxter.

Media arrangements
At 2.00pm this Sunday, Martin Long of the Catholic Communications Office will be available to brief journalists at the dedicated media centre located at the back of the Cathedral. The media centre will be open until after the Mass and will offer internet access and refreshments. Hard copies of the homily and other addresses from the Mass, the ordination booklet (which contains details of the Liturgy and the biography of Bishop-elect Connell) and related information on the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois will be available here.

Media representatives will have an opportunity for photographs and brief interviews with Bishop Connell after the Ordination Mass.

Photographs from the ceremony for publication purposes will be available to media by contacting photographer Brian Farrell on +353 (0) 87 982 8412 and by email on [email protected].

The Ordination Mass will be livestreamed on and broadcast on and by Shannonside Radio


Notes for Editors

Life and Ministry of Bishop-elect Paul Connell
Bishop-elect Paul Connell, a native of Mullingar, Co Westmeath, was born on 27 January 1958, the second of four children to Thomas and Philomena Connell. He began his primary education with Mrs Katherine Mullaly before attending Saint Mary’s CBS primary school in Mullingar. In 1970, he commenced his secondary education in Saint Finian’s College, Mullingar, sitting his Leaving Certificate in 1975. From Saint Finian’s he entered Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, where he completed his seminary training in 1982. He was awarded a BA in 1978, followed by a BD in the Pontifical University in 1981. The following year he was recipient of the Gilmartin prize in Ecclesiastical History from the Pontifical University.

Bishop-elect Connell was ordained to the priesthood in the Cathedral of Christ the King, Mullingar, on 20 June 1982. Following ordination, he was briefly attached to Rochfortbridge parish before being appointed to the staff of Saint Finian’s College, completing his Higher Diploma in Education in 1983. He became Vice-President of the College in 1989 and succeeded as President and Principal in 1998. From 1992 to 1994 he completed an evening Masters in Local History in NUI Maynooth, and was awarded a doctorate in history by the university in 2002. Subsequently, Bishop-elect Connell spent a number of years lecturing part-time in Ecclesiastical History at the Milltown Institute of Theology, Dublin, and has published a number of works in the area of local history.

Bishop-elect Connell remained as President and Principal of Saint Finian’s College until 2019. Under his direction the college became a co-educational secondary school in 2003, and its boarding school closed in 2007. In addition, he was President of the national support body for secondary schools, the Secretariat for Secondary Schools, from 2013 to 2018. In January 2019, he resigned his position as Principal of Saint Finian’s, whilst remaining as its President. This following his appointment as Executive Secretary of the Council for Education of the Irish Episcopal Conference, based in Columba Centre of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth. In 2020, he was appointed by Bishop Tom Deenihan, Bishop of Meath, as Chancellor of the Diocese of Meath.

Since his appointment to Saint Finian’s in 1982, Bishop-elect Connell has held the position of chaplain in Saint Mary’s Hospital, Mullingar (Cluain Lir). For many years during the summer months he has worked in the parishes of All Saints and Saint Gabriel’s in the Archdiocese of Miami, USA, and more recently in the parish of Saint Gregory, in the diocese of San Diego. In August 2021 he was appointed Administrator of the Parish of Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath.