The retired Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Laurence Ryan, died during the night, aged 72.

A native of the parish of St Mullins, Co Carlow, Bishop Ryan was born in May 1931 and was ordained to the priesthood in 1956. He taught at St Patrick's College in Carlow and later served as president there.

Parish priest of Naas from 1980 to 1985, he was ordained as Coadjutor Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. In December 1987, he succeeded the late Patrick Lennon as Bishop.

Bishop Ryan resigned in August 2002.

Outside of the diocese, Bishop Ryan was secretary to the Irish Theological Society from 1966 to 1976.

He was appointed the first president of the National Conference of Priests of Ireland in 1976, was chairman of the National Jubilee 2000 Committee and he also served as president of the Irish Episcopal Commission.

Bishop Ryan is survived by his sister Margaret Morrissey, his brothers Pat and Michael and nieces and nephews.