Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of two Irish bishops and has appointed a new bishop of Killaloe.

Bishops Martin Drennan of Galway and Bishop Seamus Freeman of Ossory have stepped down because of ill health, according to a statement from the Catholic Communications Office in Maynooth.

Father Fintan Monahan, the current Secretary of the Archdiocese of Tuam, has been appointed as Bishop of Killaloe.

Fr Monahan, 49, is from Tullamore, Co Offaly. He was ordained in 1991 and has been based in Galway for the past 23 years.

He replaces Dr Kieran O'Reilly, who was promoted to become Archbishop of Cashel and Emly early last year.

In a statement, the Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, thanked both outgoing bishops for their services to the hierarchy.

He also congratulated Father Monahan on his appointment, and thanked Father Des Hillery for having carried out the duties as Diocesan Administrator of Killaloe "for the past months".

Fr Hillery was appointed to the post a year-and-a-half ago and Archbishop Martin notes that he continued throughout that period to work as parish priest of Nenagh.

Bishop Drennan was appointed as Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora in 2005 while Bishop Freeman was appointed to Ossory in 2007.