Archbishop of Dublin to be appointed a cardinal
The Archbishop of Dublin Dr Desmond Connell is to be appointed a cardinal following an announcement by Pope John Paul II today.
The ceremony is expected to be held in 4-5 weeks. President McAleese said the announcement was a cause of great pride and satisfaction to the people of Ireland.
The Taoiseach, Mr Ahern, added his congratulations and said he was delighted at the announcement of the elevation of Dr Connell to cardinal.
The Pope today named 37 cardinals, putting his stamp on the body that will elect his successor.
Once they are formally appointed in February, 32 of the 37 will be eligible to join the conclave of cardinals that will elect the next Pope when John Paul II dies.
The other five are over 80 apart from Roberto Tucci, who turns 80 in April and therefore would only be eligible to join the conclave for a few months.
With the new nominations, the 80-year-old pontiff has now appointed all but 10 of the cardinals eligible to vote in a secret conclave to elect the next Pope.