Bishop Tom Deenihan congratulates Bishop-elect Paul Connell on his appointment as Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois

6 Apr, 2023 | Bishops, News

Congratulating Bishop-elect Paul Connell on his new appointment as Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, Bishop Tom Deenihan thanked Father Paul for his many years of service to the Diocese of Meath.

The Bishop of Meath said, “Father Paul has served the Diocese of Meath willingly, totally and loyally in several roles since his ordination in 1982.  He will be remembered in this Diocese particularly for his time as President of the Diocesan College, Saint Finian’s, in Mullingar.  His leadership there was visionary and he steered the development of the Diocesan Boarding School into a vibrant and successful co-educational post-primary school.  Just recently, he has been leading an ambitious though necessary expansion programme there to cater for a growing local need.

“Father Paul has spent his life in the service of education.  In more recent years, he has served as Secretary to the Council for Education of the Irish Bishops’ Conference and as Secretary to the Catholic Education Service.  In those roles also, as Chair, I very much appreciated Father Paul’s knowledge, support, wisdom and work ethic.  He has been very much involved in the negotiations in relation to the reconfiguration of Catholic primary school patronage and in discussions on policy and partnerships with Education Training Boards and Catholic Trustees in relation to Community Schools and Designated Community Colleges.  He is also a Director of the Catholic Primary School Management Association (CPSMA) and a Director and former President of the Secretariat of Secondary Schools (AMCSS/ JMB).”

In conclusion, Bishop Deenihan, “While his appointment as Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois means that the Diocese of Meath will be without his presence and expertise, it is to be welcomed that his knowledge and experience will continue to be available to the Council for Education of the Bishops’ Conference and to Catholic education in general.

“We live in a time of change and it is a challenging time to be a priest or bishop.  Father Paul goes with the prayers, appreciation, congratulations and good wishes of Bishop Michael Smith, with whom he also worked closely, the priests and people of the Diocese of Meath, and of myself.

“May the Lord continue to bless Father Paul and bless his new ministry in Ardagh and Clonmacnois.”



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