SENIOR Irish bishops have paid further tributes to Pope Benedict XVI who retires at the end of the month.
Bishop of Kilmore Leo O'Reilly said the Pontiff left a "great legacy".
"I am deeply impressed by his decision to retire, given that this was such a departure from established tradition," he said.
"It shows how independent-minded Pope Benedict is and that for him faith comes first, not personal considerations.
"It is also a mark of the man that he had the courage to take a step that is almost unprecedented."
Bishop of Cork and Ross John Buckley spoke of the Pope's "holiness and simplicity" which were "evident to all who came in contact with him".
"He was also, despite being one of the great theologians of our time, easily understood and remarkably clear," he added.