Msgr Liam Seán MacDaid named as bishop of Clogher

 

THE NEW Catholic bishop of Clogher is Msgr Liam Seán MacDaid (64), chancellor of the diocese since 1994.

He succeeds Bishop Joseph Duffy, who submitted his letter of resignation to Rome in February 2009 when he reached the age of 75, as obliged by church law.

The Vatican also announced yesterday its acceptance of the resignation of the auxiliary bishop of Derry Francis Lagan, who was 75 last October.

Msgr MacDaid is from Bundoran, Co Donegal, where he was born in 1945. He was ordained for Clogher diocese in 1969 and taught at St Macartan’s College in Monaghan town from 1970, becoming its president in 1981.

From 1989 he served as a curate in Aghavea/Aghintaine parish near Fivemiletown in Fermanagh. He was appointed parish priest of Tyholland, Co Monaghan, in 1993 and became chancellor of Clogher diocese the following year. Yesterday he said he was “deeply humbled and honoured to be chosen for this difficult ministry to our people”.

Catholic primate Cardinal Seán Brady congratulated Msgr MacDaid, noting that he was a “native son” of Clogher, who was “well aware of the deep faith of the people of the diocese first shepherded by St Macartan”.

He paid particular tribute to Bishops Duffy and Lagan, pointing out that between them they had “served their dioceses and the Bishops’ Conference for a total of 53 years (Bishop Duffy 31 years and Bishop Lagan 22 years).”

He said they had witnessed the terrible violence and tragedies which were part of the Troubles. “Thankfully in recent years they have witnessed the peace which has come to this part of Ireland. I want to pay tribute to them for their work in preaching about and striving for peace and harmony here in Northern Ireland. I offer them my prayers and blessings and I wish them both many years of good health and happiness in their retirement.”

The Church of Ireland bishop of Clogher Michael Jackson said he had found Bishop Duffy, “my longstanding friend in the Gospel and in the work of God” to be “welcoming, supportive and warm hearted”.

Bishop Duffy’s “encyclopaedic knowledge of medieval Irish history enhanced this ministry, so also has his commitment to Europe and communications. His reordering of Monaghan cathedral will stand as a lasting testimony to his energy to liturgical nuance and directness,” he said.

Congratulating Msgr MacDaid, Bishop Jackson said that “having come to know the new bishop over the last eight years and to value his friendship, I look forward to working with him in the years ahead and to developing and deepening personal and diocesan relationships.”

The bishop of Derry Séamus Hegarty thanked Bishop Lagan “for his generous service in the diocese of Derry, as priest and bishop”. On a personal level, he said he “will miss his wisdom, his knowledge of the diocese and above all his personal friendship, his commitment and generosity. I wish Bishop Lagan many happy and fulfilled years in retirement.”