Pope Francis has appointed the Most Reverend Dr Dermot Farrell as Archbishop of Dublin.

Archbishop-elect Farrell replaces the Most Reverend Archbishop Diarmuid Martin whose request for retirement has been accepted by the Pontiff and is effective from today.

The date that Dr Farrell will take over the pastoral governance of the Archdiocese of Dublin will be announced at a later date.  

In April, the Archbishop Martin reached the age of retirement. After much anticipation and speculation, today Pope Francis announced replacement - the Bishop of Ossory the Most Reverend Dr Dermot Farrell.  

Originally from Co Westmeath, the 66-year-old - who has previously served as a parish priest in Co Meath and has held the position of President of St Patrick's College in Maynooth - became the Bishop of Ossory in 2018.

Dr Dermot Farrell will become the Archbishop of Dublin in the new year, succeeding Archbishop Diarmuid Martin who has held the position since 2004, during some of the greatest social changes in Ireland.

While it is viewed that Dr Martin has made the country's largest diocese more transparent, the role will not be without its challenges for the Archbishop-elect.

Like other dioceses', the profile of priests is getting older and there are far more financial constraints than there were in the past. 

Until the installation of the new archbishop, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Diarmuid Martin by Decree, as Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Dublin with all the rights faculties and duties of a diocesan bishop. 

Bishop Farrell becomes Archbishop-elect of Dublin and continues in the capacity of the Administrator of the Diocese of Ossory. 
 


Dermot Farrell

The eldest of seven children, Dermot Farrell was born in 1954 to Carmel and Dermot Farrell in Castletown-Geoghegan, Co Westmeath.  

He attended school in Castletown-Geoghegan, Streamstown and St Finian's College, Mullingar.

St Finian's was seen as a preparatory school for the National Seminary at Maynooth, which he entered in 1972 and where he obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree. 

His formation for the priesthood also involved the study of Philosophy and he was awarded a Bachelor in Divinity Degree in 1979.  

He was ordained a priest in 1980 and following a two-year period of study he was conferred by the Pontifical University, in Maynooth, with a Licence in Theology.

Dermot Farrell became a Curate in the Cathedral Parish of Christ the King, Mullingar. 

In 1985, he was sent to Rome to study for a Doctorate in Theology at the Gregorian University.  

During his final year in Rome he also served as a Director of Formation in the Pontifical Irish College, Rome.  

In 1988, he returned to Ireland and was appointed a Curate in Tullamore Parish. 

He lectured part-time in Moral Theology at St Patrick's College, Maynooth.
 
Two years later he was appointed Executive Assistant to the President of Maynooth College, Director of the one-year Religious Studies Programme and a member of the Faculty of Theology.

In 1993, he became Vice-President of St Patrick's College, Maynooth; and in 1996 he was appointed President of the College.

Four years later, he was named as an Honorary Prelate of his Holiness which is an ecclesiastical dignitary of high rank. 

He served as Parish Priest of Dunboyne and Kilbride Parish from September 2007 and was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese in 2009.
 
Bishop Farrell has served on various Boards and Committees including the Board of Allianz plc; the Governing Body of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth; the Theological Department Irish Inter-Church Committee; Dunboyne Community Centre; and as National Director of the Permanent Diaconate for ten years.

His appointment as Bishop of Ossory by Pope Francis was announced on 3 January 2018. 

The Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Dermot Farrell for the Diocese of Ossory was 11 March 2018.

As Archbishop of Dublin, he will succeed one of the most familiar faces of the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland, Diarmuid Martin, who has held the position since 2004.

According to the Catholic Church's Code of Canon Law, diocesan bishops are requested to offer their resignations to the pope when they turn 75, which Archbishop Martin celebrated in April. 

Diarmuid Martin

Born, raised and educated in Dublin, he was ordained a priest in 1969 and began work in the Holy See in the 1970s. 

In 1999, Diarmuid Martin became the Bishop of Glendalough and was ordained Archbishop of Dublin in 2004. 

His time as Archbishop saw some of the greatest social changes in Ireland but the issue of clerical sex abuse that dominated the role.

In 2009, the Murphy report concluded that in the Dublin Archdiocese, clerical child sexual abuse was covered up from 1975 until 2004.

Diarmuid Martin sought to rebuild faith and trust in a Diocese where many Catholics had been let down. 

In 2018, the World Meeting of Families took place in Dublin and Pope Francis visited that summer. 

The role of the clergy in the past dominated the visit, including its involvement in mother and baby homes.

A referendum on Marriage Equality followed by the Abortion referendum solidified the country's transition from one heavily influenced by church doctrine.

In the last year, Covid-19 challenged the church.

Archbishop Martin was vocal in efforts to balance the re-opening of churches with keeping parishioners safe from the virus.

Archbishop Martin leaves the Dublin diocese a more transparent one than existed in the past, however, the shadow of the abuse legacy remains. 

Like other dioceses, the profile of priests is getting older and financially the Dublin Diocese, Ireland's largest,  is not what it was in the past. 

These are the obstacles that Archbishop Martin's successor Bishop Dermot Farrell will have to overcome in the years ahead.