Dublin’s next archbishop is a former president at Maynooth

Dermot Farrell studied in Rome and served in Mullingar, Tullamore and Dunboyne

Archbishop-elect Dermot Farrell. Photograph: Alan Betson

Archbishop-elect Dermot Farrell. Photograph: Alan Betson


Dublin’s Catholic archbishop-elect, Dermot Farrell (66), is from Westmeath and a priest of Meath diocese. He will replace Diarmuid Martin on February 2nd.

He was raised in Garthy, Castletown-Geoghegan, one of seven children to Dermot and Carmel Farrell. He attended St Finian’s College, Mullingar, and in 1972 began studies for the priesthood at Maynooth.

After being ordained in June 1980, he became a curate in Mullingar’s cathedral parish. In 1985 he began studies in Rome where,in 1988, he was awarded a doctorate at the Gregorian University for a dissertation on The Dogmatic Foundations of Bernard Häring’s Thought on Christian Morality as a Sacramental Way of Life. Fr Häring was a German Redemptorist priest and moral theologian who died in 1998.

During his final year in Rome he served as a director of formation at the Irish College there. From 1989 he served as curate in Tullamore and began lecturing in moral theology at Maynooth.

In 1990 he was appointed executive assistant to then president at Maynooth Msgr Micheál Ledwith and to the faculty of theology at St Patrick’s College.

In 1993 he was appointed vice-president at Maynooth, becoming president in 1996, a position he held until retirement in 2007. That same year he was appointed parish priest at Dunboyne and Kilbride, and in 2009 became vicar general of Meath diocese.

Three years ago he was appointed Bishop of Ossory, and ordained in Kilkenny in March 2018. He remains as Administrator of Ossory diocese until formal installation in Dublin next month.