Statement of Bishop Michael Duignan regarding the Province of Tuam

10 Apr 2024

Bishop Michael Duignan is Bishop of Clonfert and Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh & Kilfenora

I welcome the significant announcement today with regard to the future of the Diocese of Killala and the Archdiocese of Tuam, and the Diocese of Achonry and the Diocese of Elphin.  My appointment as the sole Bishop of the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh & Kilfenora, and of the Diocese of Clonfert, marked a new phase in the ongoing journey of restructuring and renewal for our two dioceses.  A journey where dioceses working ever-more closer together can achieve much more than they might on their own.  As the seanfhocail says “Ní neart go cur le chéile.”  This is an ongoing process which requires time, dialogue, prayerful discernment, sensitivity and effort. 

My prayers and best wishes, and the prayers and best wishes of the Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora and of the Diocese of Clonfert, are with Archbishop Francis Duffy and Bishop Kevin Doran, as they take up their additional responsibilities in this regard.  I have firsthand experience of the many fine personal qualities that they both possess, and these will equip them well for the task ahead. 

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Bishop John Fleming for his ministry as Bishop of Killala, his work on a national level with the Episcopal Conference and for his personal kindness, wisdom, friendship and support.  I wish him well in his well-deserved retirement. 

Bishop Paul Dempsey has been a great colleague since his arrival to the Diocese of Achonry.  I have no doubt that our loss will be the Archdiocese of Dublin’s gain.  We also owe a debt of gratitude previously to Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo and now to Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor, Papal Nuncios to Ireland, for their fatherly guidance in these processes.

Today is a day when I think we could truly say that “the West’s Awake”.  Awake to the need to reconfigure and restructure for renewal and mission.  I look forward to working with Archbishop Francis and Bishop Kevin, and indeed with the entire people of God in these parts, to progress this project into the future.  I pray for a continuing renewal of the faith and of our faith communities as we journey “together towards tomorrow”.