Pope Francis has announced the appointment of Fr Ger Nash as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Ferns.

He succeeds Bishop Denis Brennan who has been in the role since 2006.

Bishop Brennan's resignation was accepted by Pope Francis a year ago when he turned 75.

His successor, 62-year-old Gerard Nash, a priest of the Diocese of Killaloe, is originally from the parish of Tulla in Co Clare.

Following his Leaving Certificate, he studied business and then worked in manufacturing industry for a number of years.

After choosing to study in Saint Patrick's College, he was ordained in 1991.

Following his ordination, Fr Nash was appointed as chaplain/teacher in Roscrea Vocational School and as priest responsible for Roscrea Youth Centre.

In 1996 he was appointed as General Manager of Clarecare, which provides a range of social services to the people of Co Clare.

In 2003, he was appointed as resident priest in Corofin and part of the first grouping of parishes in the Diocese of Killaloe.

He became Diocesan Secretary in 2010 and Director of Pastoral Development for the Diocese of Killaloe in 2016.

The outgoing Bishop of Ferns has warmly welcomed Fr Nash's appointment.

Bishop Brennan said he notes that the Bishop-elect begins his ministry in Ferns at a time which poses "many choices and challenges for the Church but at a time which is also blessed by possibility".

He said that "his ministry as a priest in the Diocese of Killaloe, especially his work in the area of pastoral development and renewal will have prepared him for the task ahead."

Archbishop of Armagh and President of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference Eamon Martin has also wished Fr Nash well in his role.

"I am sure that Bishop-elect Nash's gifts and experience in pastoral planning, Catholic education and youth ministry, as well as his insights into diocesan planning and administration, will greatly serve his new ministry and enhance our discussions at the table of the Irish Bishop’s Conference".

Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Dermot Farrell thanked Bishop Brennan for his dedicated service over the past 15 years and wished Fr Nash "every blessing as he prepares for his new pastoral role.

The Diocese of Ferns was subject to an inquiry about complaints and allegations of abuse made against clergy between 1962 and 2002.

A report was ordered by then health minister Micheál Martin following widespread publicity in relation to allegations of clerical abuse in the diocese.

It identified more than 100 allegations of child sexual abuse, against 21 priests.

Six of the priests had died before any allegations of abuse were made against them.