Following the acceptance by Pope Francis of the retirement of Bishop Leo O’Reilly as Bishop of Kilmore on 31 December last, the College of Consultors of the Diocese of Kilmore, met this afternoon in Cavan, in accordance with its rights and duties under Canon Law, and elected Monsignor Liam Kelly, Vicar General and Parish Priest of Killsherdany and Drung, Co Cavan, to be Diocesan Administrator. He takes up his responsibilities immediately.
The Diocesan Administrator will have responsibility for administering the day to day affairs of the diocese until a new bishop is appointed by Pope Francis.
In his role as Administrator, he will also attend the quarterly meetings of the Irish Bishop's Conference in Maynooth.
Monsignor Liam Kelly is a native of County Leitrim. He was educated in Saint Patrick’s College, Cavan and Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth.
He was ordained a priest for the diocese of Kilmore in 1978 and since then has taught in Saint Aidan’s Comprehensive School, Cootehill and Saint Patrick’s College, Cavan and has ministered in several parishes in County Cavan. He was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese of Kilmore in 2015.
He is a noted historian and has written several books, his most recent one being The Diocese of Kilmore c,1100-1800 which was published in 2017. He is currently editing, along with Dr Brendan Scott, a book on the history of Leitrim which is due out later this year. Monsignor Kelly will continue to minister as parish priest of Kilsherdany and Drung.
Speaking after the meeting, Monsignor Kelly said that he was honoured to accept the role of Diocesan Administrator and would endeavour to serve the diocese until a new bishop is appointed.
He thanked and paid tribute to Bishop O’Reilly, who had served the diocese as bishop for 22 years, which had been very challenging in the life of the Church in Ireland.
Monsignor Kelly said, “It has been a privilege for me to have worked with Bishop Leo, to have learned from his example of generous service, and to have benefited from his great kindness and support. I wish him happiness in his retirement and pray that he will enjoy good health and every blessing in the years ahead.”
Monsignor Kelly thanked the College of Consultors for their support and good wishes, and asked for the prayers and support of the priests and people of the diocese in the time ahead.