Fr Brendan Leahy, a professor of Theology at Maynooth, has been ordained as Bishop of Limerick.

Fr Brendan Leahy is the first bishop to be ordained in the Diocese in almost 40 years.

Over 1,500 people were expected to attend the ordination in St Johns Cathedral this afternoon.

The 53-year-old is a native of Dublin. He has wide experience as a priest, theologian, writer and teacher and is also a trained barrister.

Fr Leahy is a leading member of the Focolare movement based in Co Kildare where he lived.

He replaces Bishop Donal Murray who retired three years ago after he was criticised in the Murphy report. 

Archbishop Dermot Clifford, assisted by his fellow archbishops Diarmuid Martin of Dublin and the Papal Nuncio Charles Browne performed the ordination.

Fr Leahy is the first bishop in Ireland to be ordained in the papacy of Pope Francis.

Fr Leahy said his message as bishop is to reach out to the broken and the marginalised in our community, and to reconnect with people through the gospel messages of truth and love.