Dermot Ryan

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Dermot J. Ryan
Archbishop of Dublin
Primate of Ireland
Dermot Ryan.jpg
ChurchRoman Catholic
In office1972–1984
PredecessorJohn Charles McQuaid
SuccessorKevin McNamara
Ordination28 May 1950
Personal details
Born26 June 1924
Dublin, Ireland
Died21 February 1985

Dermot J. Ryan (26 June 1924 – 21 February 1985) was the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland from 1972 until 1984.

Professor and scholar[edit]


Dermot Ryan, a native of Dublin was Professor of Oriental Languages at University College Dublin before his appointment by Pope Paul VI as Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland on 29 December 1971.

He was ordained a bishop by Pope Paul VI in Rome assisted by Cardinals Bernard Alfrink and William Conway (Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland), on 13 February 1972. At the time of his appointment he was seen as a liberal and a reformer in the Church.

Diocesan expansion[edit]

During his term he consolidated much of the expansion of the Archdiocese which had taken place during the term of his predecessor. He also oversaw the fuller implementation of the reforms of Vatican II. He was particularly interested in liturgical reform.

Social opinions and activities[edit]

Archbishop Ryan also took a traditional stand on social issues, including poverty, family life and opposition to abortion. He strongly promoted the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland in 1983, granted the equal right to life to mother and unborn.

He was named in the Murphy Report on sexual abuse of children in Dublin; his actions in respect of complaints against priest Fr. McNamee were described in the report as "an example of how, throughout the 1970s, the church authorities were more concerned with the scandal that would be created by revealing Fr McNamee’s abuse rather than any concern for the abused". He also did not act on complaints against other priests who were also subsequently confirmed to be abusers.

Archbishop Ryan Park[edit]

As Archbishop he gave the people of Dublin a public park on a site earmarked by his predecessors for a proposed cathedral; it was named "Archbishop Ryan Park" in his honour. The land, at Merrion Square, was a gift from the Archbishop to the city of Dublin.

In January 2010, after Ryan had been criticised in the Murphy Report the previous year, Dublin City Council sought public views on renaming the Park;[1] in 2010 it was renamed Merrion Square Park by the City Council.[2][3]

He also served as Pro-Prefect of Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples from 8 April 1984 until his death in Rome, following a heart attack at the age of 60.


  1. ^ McGarry, Patsy (12 January 2010). "Councillor denies call to rename Archbishop Ryan Park". The Irish Times. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  2. ^ "Proposal to rename Merrion Square Park". RTÉ. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 8 May 2010.
  3. ^ "City park to be renamed Merrion Square Park". The Irish Times. 9 September 2010.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Agnelo Rossi
as Prefect
Pro-Prefect For The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples
April 8, 1984-February 21, 1985
Succeeded by
Jozef Tomko
as Prefect
Preceded by
John Charles McQuaid
Archbishop of Dublin
29 December 1971 – 1 September 1984
Succeeded by
Kevin McNamara