The Spring General Meeting of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference concluded on 12 March last. During the meeting, bishops expressed their deep gratitude to Monsignor Ciarán O’Carroll of the Archdiocese of Dublin for his generous ministry as Rector of the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, which has come to an end after nine years of service. Monsignor O’Carroll has been appointed Episcopal Vicar for Priests of the Archdiocese of Dublin. He will be the third such Vicar, succeeding Father John Hughes OSA and Bishop Eamonn Walsh.

Bishops announced that Father Paul Finnerty of the Diocese of Limerick, currently vice-rector, will become acting-rector of the college. Father Finnerty, the son of Superintendent Tony and Mary Finnerty, attended Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He was ordained in June 2002, and returned to Maynooth to complete a Licentiate in Theology. His first appointment was a curate to the parish of Askeaton/Ballysteen.

The current director of formation at the college, Father John Coughlan of the Diocese of Elphin, will become vice-rector. Prior to his current appointment, Father Coughlan was Curate at Saint Joseph’s Parish, Boyle, in the Diocese of Elphin. Father Coughlan is a native of Riverstown Parish. He was ordained to the priesthood in 2008 following seven years of formation at Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He completed his License in Theology (a third-level teaching qualification) with First Class Honours in 2015.

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