Diocese of Clonfert
|Country||Republic of Ireland|
|Territory||Parts of counties Galway, Offaly and Roscommon|
|Ecclesiastical province||Province of Tuam|
|Metropolitan||Archdiocese of Tuam|
|Area||960 sq mi (2,500 km2)|
- Catholics (including non-members)
|Established||Bishopric in 550; Diocese in 1111|
|Cathedral||St. Brendan’s Cathedral, Loughrea|
|Patron saint||St Brendan|
|Bishop|| Michael Duignan,|
Bishop of Clonfert
|Metropolitan Archbishop|| Michael Neary,|
Archbishop of Tuam
|Bishops emeritus||John Kirby|
The Diocese of Clonfert (Irish : Deoise Chluain Fearta) is a Roman Catholic diocese in the western part of Ireland. It is in the Metropolitan Province of Tuam.
The Most Reverend Michael Duignan was appointed by the Holy See on 16 July 2019 and ordained bishop on 13 October 2019.
The diocese covers almost the whole of East Galway, with one parish (Lusmagh) in County Offaly while the parishes of Taughmaconnell, Creagh and the half-parish of Ballinasloe lie in County Roscommon. This was the ancient territory of the kingdom of Uí Maine (Hy-Many), as it existed when the diocese was formed. In fact, the bishop of the diocese was sometimes referred to as the Bishop of Hy-Many. The major towns in the diocese are Ballinasloe, Loughrea and Portumna.
The cathedra is currently located at Loughrea but was historically Clonfert Cathedral.
Established in A.D. 550 as an abbacy, it was promoted to a diocese in 1111. The early Irish monastery and school of Clonfert, founded by Saint Brendan, was the dominant ecclesiastical centre in the area and an important centre of learning in the early Irish church. Cummian, an important theological writer was from there. It was also deeply involved in the eighth century spiritual reform movement of the Céli Dé.
Saint Brendan's fame as a seafaring missionary contributed to its pre-eminence in later times and led to its choice as an episcopal see in the twelfth century. Like most dioceses in Ireland, the present Diocese of Clonfert had its origin in the Synod of Rathbreasail in 1110, reaching its final form at the Synod of Kells in 1152 when it was made a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Tuam.
In 1170, the Annals of Clonmacnois record that "there was a great convocation of the clergy of Ireland at Clonfert by commission from the Pope for the reformation of certain abuses of a long time used in Ireland", which was presided over by Saint Laurence O'Toole presided as papal legate.
In the early 13th century its bishop was one of those appointed by Honorius III to investigate a dispute over the election of the Bishop of Ardfert. Later that century it was provided with John, a bishop of Italian birth — one of the very few occasions when this happened in Ireland.
In the 14th and 15th centuries, bishops introduced the mendicant orders: the Franciscans to Kilconnell, Kinalehin and Meelick, with their 3rd Order to Clonkeenkerril and Kilbocht; the Dominicans to Portumna, with their 3rd Order to Kilcorban; and the Carmelites to Loughrea.
In 1704, the diocese had forty-one parishes but by 1800, these were amalgamated into twenty four. There followed a period of church building. Churches were erected in Ballymacward and Ballinasloe, the latter designed by McCarthy and Pugin. Landlord intransigence prevented the building of a cathedral in Loughrea until 1897 when Bishop Healy laid the foundation stone, which was fortunate because the era of the Celtic Revival and Irish Stained Glass had begun, with happy results in its interior decoration.
The Sisters of Mercy were brought to Loughrea in 1850 by Bishop Derry and spread to five towns in the diocese, operating primary and secondary schools, industrial schools at Loughrea and Ballinasloe and a domestic economy school at Portumna. They also staffed the workhouse hospitals in Loughrea, Ballinasloe and Portumna and latterly the county home in Loughrea. The Sisters of Mount Carmel, who have been in Loughrea since the 17th century, conducted a school there up to 1860 but have since been an enclosed order. In 1945 Bishop Dignan introduced the Franciscan Missionaries of the Divine Motherhood to Ballinasloe, where they built Portiuncula Hospital, which has been enlarged many times since and is now a general hospital under the Western Health Board.
The diocesan seminary, begun at Loughrea by Bishop Derry in the 19th century, was succeeded by St. Joseph's College at Cartron, at Esker and finally at Garbally Park since 1924.
The following is a basic list of the post-Reformation Roman Catholic bishops.
Clonfert is a small village in east County Galway, Ireland, halfway between Ballinasloe and Portumna. The village gives its name to the Diocese of Clonfert. Clonfert Cathedral is one of the eight cathedral churches of the Church of Ireland, Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe. The cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Clonfert is located in Loughrea. It is home to Our Lady of Clonfert Shrine. Three churches lay in this parish, St. Brendan's Eyrecourt, St.Francis Meelick and Clonfert. Its current parish priest (2021) Fr.Declan McInerney and its bishop Michael Duignan.
Clonfert Cathedral is a cathedral of the Church of Ireland in Clonfert, County Galway in Ireland. It is in the ecclesiastical province of Dublin. Previously the cathedral of the Diocese of Clonfert, it is now one of three cathedrals in the United Dioceses of Limerick and Killaloe.
Saint Jarlath, also known as Iarlaithe mac Loga, was an Irish priest and scholar from Connacht, remembered as the founder of the monastic School of Tuam and of the Archdiocese of Tuam, of which he is the patron saint. No medieval Life for Jarlath is extant, but sources for his life and cult include genealogies, martyrologies, the Irish Lives of St Brendan of Clonfert, and a biography compiled by John Colgan in the 17th century.
St. Joseph's College, Garbally Park is an Irish voluntary Catholic secondary school situated in Garbally Park, the former seat of the Earl of Clancarty, near Ballinasloe in County Galway. It is a single-sex boys day school which has previously served as a boarding school. It is more commonly known as Garbally College.
Mullagh is a parish in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Clonfert in County Galway, Ireland. It is in the south-east of the county, close to the towns of Loughrea, Ballinasloe, and Portumna. Mullagh lies in the civil parish of Abbeygormacan, and spans the townlands of Mullagh Beg and Mullagh More.
The Diocese of Limerick is a Roman Catholic diocese in mid-western Ireland, one of six suffragan dioceses in the ecclesiastical province of Cashel and Emly.
The Archdiocese of Tuam is a Roman Catholic archdiocese in western Ireland. The archdiocese is led by the Archbishop of Tuam, who serves as pastor of the mother church, the Cathedral of the Assumption and Metropolitan of the Metropolitan Province of Tuam. According to tradition, the "Diocese of Tuam" was established in the 6th century by St. Jarlath. The ecclesiastical province, roughly co-extensive with the secular province of Connacht, was created in 1152 by the Synod of Kells.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Achonry is a Roman Catholic diocese in the western part of Ireland. It is one of the five suffragan sees of the Archdiocese of Tuam. The diocese was often called the "bishopric of Luighne" in the Irish annals. It was not established at the Synod of Rathbreasail, but Máel Ruanaid Ua Ruadáin signed as "bishop of Luighne" at the Synod of Kells.
The Diocese of Killala is a Roman Catholic diocese in Connacht; the western province of Ireland. It is in the Metropolitan Province of Tuam and is subject to the Metropolitan Archdiocese of Tuam. The current Bishop is Dr. John Fleming DD who was appointed on 7 April 2002.
Joseph Cassidy was Bishop of Clonfert from 1982 to 1987 and Archbishop of Tuam from 1987 to 1994.
Meelick MILIC is a townland on the River Shannon in Ireland. It lies approximately 4 km southeast of Eyrecourt in County Galway.It is best known for its walkway that connects to Lusmagh (Offaly). It also holds the oldest church still in use in Ireland at a staggering 607 years old given papal permission and built in 1414AD it is also within the Parish of Clonfert which is home to the madona statue OUR LADY OF CLONFERT Clonfert is the head of its diocese with its headquarters home to Most REV.Bishop Michael Duignan St.Brendans Presbytery Loughrea. It is home to the oldest hurling club in Ireland which was founded in 1884. It has a little pub 10 yards from The Church known locally as “George’s/The Shop” It holds a kayaking festival each year after the boating season halts to its winter end with a great quay half way between Portumna and Banagher home to SilverLine Cruisers, CarrickCraft and Emerald Star-line. It holds a car rally in association with Galway Rally ever few years. Its current Parish Priest (2021) is REV.Fr.Declan McInerney PP.
The Diocese of Derry is a diocese which straddles the international frontier between the Republic of Ireland & Northern Ireland. It is in the ecclesiastical province of Armagh. The diocese was established in the year 1158. The diocese consists of almost fifty parishes and some number of religious congregations have houses in various parts of the diocese.
The Diocese of Limerick and Killaloe is a diocese of the Church of Ireland that is located in mid-western Ireland. The diocese was formed by a merger of neighbouring dioceses in 1976. It is in the ecclesiastical province of Dublin. It is one of the twelve Church of Ireland dioceses that cover the whole of Ireland. The diocese covers all of counties Limerick, Kerry and Clare, plus parts of counties Galway, Cork and Tipperary.
Annaghdown is a parish in County Galway, Ireland. It takes its name from Eanach Dhúin, Irish for "the marsh of the fort". The village lies around Annaghdown Bay, an inlet of Lough Corrib. The parish is situated in the Archdiocese of Tuam and the Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry.
Timothy Joyce (1868–1947), was an Irish Roman Catholic priest, Monsignor and parish priest of Portumna, 1919–1947.
Ambrose O'Madden was an Irish prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the Bishop of Clonfert from 1713 to 1715.
The Dean of Killaloe is based at the Cathedral Church of St Flannan in Killaloe in the united diocese of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert within the Church of Ireland. The Dean of Killaloe is also Dean of St Brendans, Clonfert, Dean of Kilfenora, and both Dean and Provost of Kilmacduagh.
The Cathedral of St. Brendan, Loughrea, is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Clonfert. Though designed in neo-gothic style, it arguably houses the most extensive collection of arts and crafts and Celtic Revival artifacts of any single building in Ireland. Its most noteworthy feature is the extensive collection of stained glass windows by the Dublin-based An Túr Gloine studio. There are also twenty-four embroidered banners, mostly depicting Irish saints as well as vestments by the Dun Emer Guild. Sculptors represented are John Hughes (sculptor) and Michael Shortall, and the architect William Alphonsus Scott also contributed designs for metalwork and woodwork. The foundation stone was laid on 10 October 1897 and the structure was completed in 1902; most of the interior features date from the first decade on the twentieth century with the exception of the stained glass windows which continued to be commissioned up until the 1950s.
Michael Duignan B.Phil. LDT DD is an Irish Roman Catholic clergyman who has been the Bishop of Clonfert since 2019.