Bishop of Clonfert

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The Bishop of Clonfert is an episcopal title which takes its name after the village of Clonfert in County Galway, Republic of Ireland.

History[edit]

The diocese of Clonfert was one of the twenty-four dioceses established at the Synod of Rathbreasail in 1111, and its boundaries were fixed at the Synod of Kells in 1152. During the Reformation, the bishops changed their allegiance back and forth between the Pope and the Crown. After the Reformation, there were parallel apostolic successions.

In the Church of Ireland, the title continued until 1625 when it united with Kilmacduagh forming the united see of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the title remains a separate bishopric. The current Incumbent is the Most Reverend John Kirby, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Clonfert who was appointed on 18 February 1988 and ordained bishop on 9 April 1988.

Pre-Reformation bishops[edit]

For abbots of Clonfert and early bishops, see Abbot of Clonfert.
Pre-Reformation Bishops of Clonfert[1]
From Until Incumbent Notes
unknown 1117 Muiredach Ua hÉnlainge died in office
unknown 1149 Gilla Pátraic Ua hAilchinned died in office
c.1150 1171 Petrus Ua Mórda, O.Cist. died 27 December 1171
1172 1173 Máel Ísu Mac in Baird died in office
bef.1179 1186 Celechair Ua hAirmedaig died in office
1186 1187 Muirchertach Ua Máel Uidir Bishop of Clonmacnoise since circa 1152; also became Bishop of Clonfert in 1186; died in office
unknown 1195 Domnall Ua Finn died in office
unknown 1203 Muirchertach Ua Carmacáin died in office
1205 unknown Máel Brigte Ua hEruráin elected in 1205
bef.1224 1259 Cormac Ó Luimlín died circa 19 June 1259; also known as Carus
1259 1263 Tomás Ó Cellaigh elected before 7 November 1259 and received possession of temporalities after that date; died 6 January 1263; also recorded as Tomás mac Domnaill Móir Ó Cellaig
1263 1266 See vacant
1266 1295 Johannes de Alatre appointed before 29 September 1266 and received possession of temporalities on that date; consecrated 19 December 1266; translated to Benevento 2 October 1295
1296 1307 Robert, O.S.B. appointed 2 January and consecrated after 21 April 1296; received possession of temporalities 24 September 1296; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Canterbury 1296–1307; died after December 1307
1308 1319 Gregorius Ó Brócaig elected before 22 March 1308 and received possession of temporalities after that date; died in office
1320 1321 Robert Petit, O.F.M. elected 10 February and confirmed by the king 24 February 1320; consecrated circa 1320; deprived circa 1321; acted as a suffragan bishop in the dioceses of Worcester 1322 and Exeter 1324; later appointed Bishop of Annaghdown 27 October 1325; also known as Robert Le Petit
1322 1336 Seoán Ó Leaáin elected 10 November 1319, but wasn't appointed until 6 August 1322; consecrated 20 September and received possession of temporalities 29 December 1322; died 7 April 1336
1336 1347 See vacant
1347 1378 Tomás mac Gilbert Ó Cellaigh became bishop before 14 October 1347; died 1378; also known as Thomas O'Kelly
1378 1393 Muircheartach mac Pilib Ó Ceallaigh appointed before 6 March 1378 and consecrated in the same year; translated to Tuam 26 January 1393; also known as Mauricius
1393 1398 Uilliam Ó Cormacáin translated from Tuam 27 January 1393; deprived in 1398; also known as Wiliam Ó Cormacáin
1398 David Corre, O.F.M. appointed 20 March 1398, but did not take effect
1398 1405 Énri Ó Connmaigh appointed circa July 1398; translated to Kilmacduagh 11 March 1405
1405 1438 Tomás mac Muircheartaigh Ó Cellaigh, O.P. translated from Ardfert and Aghadoe 11 March 1405; translated to Tuam 15 July 1438
1410 Cobhthach Ó Madagáin elected in 1410, but was not consecrated
1438 1459 Seaán Ó hEidhin, O.F.M. appointed 18 July 1438 and again 25 October 1441; acted as a suffragan bishop in the dioceses of London, Diocese of Exeter, and Worcester 1443–59; died after 1459
1441 1448 John White, O.F.M. appointed 25 October 1441, but did not get possession of the see; resigned in July 1448
1447 1448 Conchobair Ó Maolalaidh, O.F.M. appointed 22 May 1447 and again 18 July 1448; translated to Emly 30 August 1448; also known as Cornelius
1448 1463 Cornelius Ó Cuinnlis, O.F.M. translated from Emly 30 August 1448; resigned in 1463; died after 1469
1463 1507 Matthaeus Mág Raith, O.S.A. appointed 22 June 1463; died in office
1508 1509 David de Burgo appointed 5 July 1508; died in office
1509 1534 Dionysius Ó Mórdha, O.P. appointed 7 November 1509; died office; also known as Denis O'More

Post-Reformation bishops[edit]

Church of Ireland succession[edit]

Church of Ireland Bishops of Clonfert[2]
From Until Incumbent Notes
1536 1538 Richard Nangle appointed by King Henry VIII; consecrated 1536; expelled before July 1538 by the papal nominee who had accepted royal supremacy
1538 1580 Roland de Burgo [A] papal nominee since 1534; accepted royal supremacy in 1538 and was confirmed (re-appointed) by King Henry VIII 24 October 1541; acknowledged papal authority in the reign of Queen Mary I, but again accepted royal supremacy under Queen Elizabeth I; also was Bishop of Elphin 1551–1580; died 20 June 1580; also known as Roland Burke
1582 1601 Stephen Kirwan translated from Kilmacduagh; nominated 30 March 1582; letters patent 24 May 1582; died before 4 November 1601; also known as Stephen Kerovan
1602 1625 Roland Lynch, Bishop of Kilmacduagh held the see of Clonfert "in commendam" from 1602 until his death in 1625
In 1625, the Church of Ireland sees of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh were the amalgamated, forming the united bishopric of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh.

Roman Catholic succession[edit]

Roman Catholic Bishops of Clonfert[3]
From Until Incumbent Notes
1534 1580 Roland de Burgo [B] appointed by Pope Clement VII 18 May 1534; accepted royal supremacy in 1538; acknowledged papal authority in the reign of Queen Mary I, but again accepted royal supremacy under Queen Elizabeth I; died 20 June 1580; also known as Roland Burke
1580 1587 See vacant
1587 1602 Thady Farrell, O.P. appointed 8 June and consecrated 30 August 1587; also appointed an Auxiliary bishop of Sigüenza in 1589; died 1602; also known as Tadhg O'Farrell, Tadhg MacEoga or Tadeo O'Farrell
apptd. 1609 (Dermot Nolan) appointed vicar apostolic by papal brief 4 February 1609
apptd. 1622 (Thady Egan) appointed vicar apostolic by papal brief 13 July 1622
1629 1647 John de Burgh appointed vicar apostolic by papal brief 13 October 1629, and appointed bishop 16 September 1641; translated to Tuam 11 March 1647; also recorded as John de Burgo and John Burke
1647 1663 Walter Lynch arrived in Ireland in 1647; appointed 11 March 1647 and consecrated 9 April 1648; left Ireland circa 1648 and spent the rest of his life in Hungary; died 14 July 1663
1663 1678 See vacant
1678 1687 Thady Keogh, O.P. appointed 13 July and consecrated in October 1671; died in office; also known as Tadhg Keogh or Mac Eogha
1687 1695 See vacant
1695 1706 Maurice Donnellan appointed 14 November 1695; died 2 July 1706; also known as Murtagh Donnellan or Muircheartach Ó Domhnalláin
1706 1713 See vacant
1713 1715 Ambrose O'Madden previously bishop-designate of Killala and Kilmacduagh; appointed bishop of Clonfert 15 September 1713 and consecrated 15 April 1714; died in July 1715
1715 1718 See vacant
1718 1733 Edmund Kelly appointed in February and consecrated before 14 May 1718; died in office
1733 1778 Peter O'Donnellan appointed 11 August 1733; died 7 May 1778
1778 1786 Andrew O'Donellan appointed coadjutor bishop 1 December 1776; succeeded 7 May 1778; died before 6 July 1786
1786 1831 Thomas Costello appointed coadjutor bishop 30 June 1786; succeeded 6 July 1786; died 8 October 1831
1831 1847 Thomas Coen appointed coadjutor bishop 26 January and consecrated 5 May 1816; succeeded 8 October 1831; died 25 April 1847
1847 1870 John Derry appointed 9 July and consecrated 21 September 1847; died 28 June 1870
1871 (Hugh O'Rorke) appointed 13 February 1871 but was not accepted
1872 1896 Patrick Duggan appointed 2 October 1871 and consecrated 14 January 1872; died 15 August 1896
1896 1903 John Healy appointed coadjutor bishop 26 June and consecrated 31 August 1884; succeeded 15 August 1896; translated to Tuam 13 February 1903
1903 1909 Thomas O'Dea appointed 12 June and consecrated 30 August 1903; translated to Galway and Kilmacduagh 29 April 1909
1909 1918 Thomas Gilmartin appointed 3 July 1909 and consecrated 13 February 1910; translated to Tuam 10 July 1918
1919 1923 Thomas O'Doherty appointed 3 July and consecrated 14 September 1919; translated to Galway and Kilmacduagh13 July 1923
1924 1953 John Dignan appointed 24 March and consecrated 1 June 1924; died 12 April 1953
1953 1962 William J. Philbin appointed 22 December 1953 and consecrated 14 March 1954; translated to Down and Connor 5 June 1962
1963 1982 Thomas Ryan appointed 9 May and consecrated 16 June 1963; resigned 1 May 1982; died 20 August 1983
1982 1987 Joseph Cassidy appointed coadjutor bishop 24 August and consecrated 23 September 1979; succeeded 1 May 1982; translated to Tuam 22 August 1987
1988 present John Kirby appointed 18 February and consecrated 9 April 1988

Notes[edit]

  • A B Roland de Burgo was bishop of both successions: Church of Ireland bishop 1538–1580 and Roman Catholic bishop 1534–1580.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (Third Edition ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 339–340. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  2. ^ Fryde, ibid., p. 383.
  3. ^ Fryde, ibid., p.419.