Bishop Niall Coll congratulates Bishop Alan McGuckian’s appointment as Bishop of Down and Connor

02 Feb 2024

Prayerful good wishes to Bishop Alan McGuckian of Raphoe Diocese on the news today that he is to become Bishop of Down and Connor.  While he is moving back to his native County Antrim, I am sure that he will miss the people of Raphoe (my native Diocese), and that they will miss him.  At the height of the Covid-19 pandemic when the people were not allowed to attend Mass, Bishop Alan and the clergy in Saint Eunan’s Cathedral, Letterkenny, showed creativity in pioneering nightly sessions of meditative prayer which were broadcast over the webcam to large audiences both locally and beyond. 

In addition to this spiritual skill, Bishop Alan’s love for the Irish language and dedication to 5 km Saturday morning park runs also recommended him to many.  Going now to Down and Connor and its larger context he brings with him his most recent experience of pastoral planning which was in Raphoe.  May he be a blessing to his new Diocese, and may he find a particular welcome there at a time when there seems to be a basis for new hope that the power-sharing structures of government can again be made to work, and for the benefit of all.