John McAreavey

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This article is about the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Dromore. For the Down inter-county player, see John McAreavey (Gaelic footballer).
Coat of arms of John McAreavey

John McAreavey (born 2 February 1949) is the Bishop of the Diocese of Dromore.[1] He was born in Banbridge, County Down, Northern Ireland.

Early life and education[edit]

John McAreavey was born at Drumnagally, Banbridge in 1949 to John and Mary McAreavey (both deceased). He has two sisters and two brothers. He received his primary education at Ballyvarley School and then the Abbey Primary School, Newry. He received his secondary education at St. Colman's College. In September 1966 he entered St Patrick's College, Maynooth where in 1969 he finished a B.A. in Modern Languages and in 1972 a B.D. in Divinity.[citation needed]


Dr McAreavey was ordained as priest for the Diocese of Dromore by the late Bishop Eugene O’Doherty on 10 June 1973. Fr McAreavey returned to Maynooth after his ordination and completed a Licentiate in Sacred Theology in 1974. He was a post-graduate student of Canon Law at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome from 1974-1978 when he graduated with a Doctorate in Canon Law.

From 1978-1979 Fr McAreavey was on the teaching staff of St. Colman's College. In the latter year he was appointed to the Armagh Regional Marriage Tribunal. He became head on the death of Fr Mulvenna in 1983 and held this post until 1991. Meanwhile he had been appointed in 1988 Professor of Canon Law in the St Patrick's College, Maynooth. While there he wrote widely on Church Law, publishing in 1997 The Canon Law of Marriage and the Family. He had served on the Editorial Board of the Irish Theological Quarterly from 1998. He is also a member of the Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Canon Law Society of America. In 1994 he became secretary of the Greenhills Ecumenical Conference Committee.

Throughout his entire ministry John has been involved in the pastoral care of engaged and married couples. A fluent Gaelic speaker he is a member of the committee of Coláiste Bhríde, Rann na Feirste. He is also fluent in Italian, German and French .


Dr John McAreavey was ordained as Bishop of Dromore on 19 September 1999. The Principal Consecrator was Archbishop Seán Brady; his Principal Co-Consecrators were Bishop John Magee, SPS and his predecessor Francis Brooks.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Bishop John McAreavey,