A PROFESSOR OF theology and qualified barrister has been appointed as the Bishop of Limerick by Pope Benedict.
Fr Brendan Leahy is a priest in the Archdiocese of Dublin.
He is the currently professor of systematic theology at St Patrick’s College in Maynooth.
Born in Dublin in 1960, Fr Leahy lived in Crumlin until he was six-years-old before moving to Rathfarnam.
He went onto study law in UCD, theology and spirituality at Mater Dei Institute of Education in Dublin and philosophy at Clonliffe College, Dublin.
He became a barrister in 1983 before being ordained a priest in 1986.
He worked in the Clonskeagh parish in the early 1990s and also served in various roles with the Holy Cross Seminary, Mater Dei Institute of Education and priests’ council and college of consultors.
Fr Leahy worked as parish chaplain in Lusk from 1994 to 2004 and has been a diocesan censor from 1999 to present.
He has had several books published and was nominated as an associate member of the Pontifical Theology Academy in 2004 and has been a visiting lecturer at the Sophia University Institute, Loppiano, Florence since its beginning in 2008.
Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Dr Dermot Clifford said he has known Fr Brendan for many years in his role of professor of theology in St Patrick’s College.
“While he is a well-known native of Dublin, Father Brendan has family roots in Ballyferriter parish in Kerry,” Dr Clifford said.
“His father will be remembered to the people of Athea in West Limerick where he was a former teacher.”
“I would like to assure Fr Brendan of a warm welcome to the Munster province.”
“I wish him every blessing in his new ministry serving the very fine priests and people of Limerick over the coming years,” Dr Clifford added.
President of St Patrick's College Monsignor Hugh Connolly also congratulated Fr Leahy on behalf of the entire college community on his appointment today by Pope Benedict XVI.
“I wish Professor Leahy every joy, blessing and grace in his future years of episcopal ministry,” Monsignor Connolly said.
The previous Bishop of Limerick, Dr Donal Murray gave his resignation to the Pope in December 2009 after coming under intense pressure following the publication of the shocking Murphy report.
Bishop Murray – a former auxiliary bishop in Dublin - resigned after the report into the Dublin Diocese criticised his role in a number of cases.
Fr Tony Mullins has worked as administrator of the diocese since 2009.