Six married men ordained as permanent deacons in Co Cork

Catholic Church studying the possibility of allowing women to serve as deacons

A retail worker, an accountant and a community activist were among six men ordained as permanent deacons in the parish of Cloyne in Co Cork on Sunday.

Brian Williams (42), a father of two from Lissarda, Co Cork, said the diaconate seemed like a very natural progression for him, having been employed in addiction and homeless services for much of his adult life.

Mr Williams emphasised that having a supportive spouse was vital for a person in his position.

“If your wife wasn’t on board, this life would be impossible. Because prior to this you have years of study and then you have pastoral placement.”


The Catholic Church is currently studying the possibility of allowing women to serve as deacons in the Catholic Church, signalling, perhaps, an openness to the possibility of ending the practice of all-male clergy.

Mr Williams fully supports the idea of a female diaconate. When asked to espouse on his reasons for same his answer was a direct “Why not?”

Londis supportive

Londis employee Peter Gurbal (44), originally from Bratislava, Slovakia, was one of the other lay people ordained at St Colman’s Cathedral.

Mr Gurbal, who is based in Cobh, Co Cork, said he had spent “a long time moving in the areas of faith” and wanted to offer his best to the people of his community.

Mr Gurbal says staff in Londis are very supportive and that he is having the ceremony taped for his elderly parents back home in Slovakia.

The first deacons were ordained in Ireland in 2012.

On ordination, following three years of preparation, a permanent deacon can perform all the functions of a priest except celebrate the Eucharist.

A deacon can conduct the liturgy of the word at Masses, read the gospels , deliver the homily and preside at funerals, marriages and baptisms.

The other newly ordained deacons were HSE worker Garrett Cody (52) from Glasheen, Co Cork; accountant Damian McCabe (40) from Buncrana, Co Donegal; cabinet maker Edward Mulhare (50) from Castlemartyr, Co Cork; and social care worker John Nestor (47) from Douglas in Cork city.