Eamon Martin

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The Most Reverend
Eamon Martin
Archbishop of Armagh
Primate of All Ireland
Archdiocese Armagh
See Armagh
Appointed 18 January 2013 (coadjutor)
Installed 8 September 2014
Predecessor Seán Brady
Ordination 28 June 1987
by Edward Daly
Consecration 21 April 2013
by Seán Brady
Personal details
Born (1961-10-30) 30 October 1961 (age 56)
Derry, Northern Ireland
Denomination Roman Catholic
Residence Ara Coeli, Armagh, Northern Ireland
Parents John James Martin and Catherine Crossan
Alma mater St Patrick's College, Maynooth
Queen's University Belfast
Institute of Education
University of Cambridge
Motto Cantate Canticum Novum
(Sing a new song)
Coat of arms Eamon Martin's coat of arms

Eamon Martin (born 30 October 1961) is an Irish Roman Catholic prelate, the incumbent Archbishop of Armagh and the Primate of All Ireland.

Early life and education[edit]

Martin was born in Derry in 1961, one of 12 children.[1] After his primary school education in St Patrick's, Pennyburn, Derry, he entered St Columb's College. His priestly formation took place in St. Patrick's College, Maynooth where he graduated with a BD (Hons) in Theology and a BSc(Hons) in Mathematical Science from NUI Maynooth.

Ordained ministry[edit]

On 28 June 1987, Martin was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Derry by Edward Daly, the then Bishop of Derry.[2] After ordination he served as a curate (assistant priest) at the cathedral of the Diocese of Derry from 1987 until 1989. He then served as a teacher at St Columb's College in Derry from 1990 to 1998. He then continued his studies at Queens University, Belfast from 1989–1990. Martin went on to study at St Edmund's College, Cambridge from 1998–1999 where he obtained a MPhil in school development.

From 1999 until 2008 he served as President of St Columb's College Derry. After this he served two years as Secretary-General of the Irish Episcopal Conference before being recalled to his native diocese in 2010 to serve as Vicar General. When Bishop Séamus Hegarty resigned in November 2011, Archbishop Eamon Martin was elected as diocesan administrator. In 2011 he was appointed Chaplain of His Holiness.

Episcopal career[edit]

Styles of
Eamon Martin
Coat of arms of Eamon Martin.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Grace
Religious style Archbishop

On 18 January 2013, Martin was appointed as the Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh. Martin said he was shocked when told of the appointment. "I am very conscious of the great trust that the Holy Father has placed in me, but in truth I have to admit it was with considerable nervousness and trepidation that I accepted his call," he said.[3] Bishop Emeritus of Derry Edward Daly said that Martin was seen as "a clean pair of hands" after the church's abuse scandals. "He does not carry any baggage from the past with him," the bishop said.[1]

On 21 April 2013, Martin was consecrated to the episcopate by Seán Brady.[2][4]

On 8 September 2014, with the retirement of Seán Brady, Martin became Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland; as such, he is head of the Catholic Church in Ireland. One press report at the time referred to Eamon Martin being a relative "unknown" in Rome with zero visibility in the Vatican. [5]



Martin said in an interview in 2013 that any legislator who clearly and publicly supports abortion should not seek to receive communion as legislators who support abortion are excommunicating themselves.[6]

Child abuse[edit]

In 2013, Martin addressed the abuse scandals that have been exposed over the last two decades. "One of the greatest challenges facing our Church is to acknowledge, live with, and learn from the past, including the terrible trauma caused by abuse," he said.[7]

Martin is also a director of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church – the body set up in the wake of widespread clerical abuse scandals in Ireland. On his appointment, he said one of the greatest challenges facing the church was to live with and learn from the past. He told a press conference in Armagh that the church "can never take it for granted that the safeguarding systems we have in place are robust and failsafe, so we have to keep working on that".[8]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

Martin has said the Catholic Church felt a sense of "bereavement" following the result of the same-sex marriage referendum. The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, called the result of the Irish same-sex marriage referendum a "defeat for humanity". Martin told RTÉ Radio One's Sean O'Rourke show the cardinal's comments expressed "our deeply held conviction about the meaning of marriage". "One of the difficulties of the debate was that we had two parallel discussions going on. One was about the meaning of marriage and the other was about respecting gay people and showing tolerance," he said. "I think what Cardinal Parolin was expressing was our deeply held conviction about the meaning of marriage," Martin said. "He said three things. He said, look, I'm saddened by the result which I think a lot of people in this country are also. He said this isn't just a defeat for Christian principles, it's a defeat for humanity. I think what he was trying to do was express the loss that has occurred here and we do feel it's a loss. Something very unique and precious has been lost. That's not in any way to say that there are not a lot of people who were very happy with the result, and we could see that on the night of the result."[9]

United Ireland[edit]

Martin has expressed his support for a united Ireland saying "I do believe that Ireland should be one and I would like to work for that, and continue to work for that, by peaceful means and by persuasion, recognising that there are many people on this island who do not want that." He also said "To the extent I think the border between Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland has become increasingly less important, I would like to see that trend continuing."[10]



  1. ^ a b "Eamon Martin set to become head of Ireland's Catholics". BBC News. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  2. ^ a b Cheney, David M. "Archbishop Eamon Martin". Catholic-Hierarchy. Retrieved 28 February 2013. [self-published source]
  3. ^ "Statement by Monsignor Eamon Martin on his appointment as Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh". Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2017. 
  4. ^ NOMINA DELL’ARCIVESCOVO COADIUTORE DI ARMAGH (IRLANDA) Archived 21 April 2013 at Archive.is
  5. ^ https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/new-head-of-catholic-church-in-ireland-an-unknown-in-rome-1.1924139
  6. ^ Larissa Nolan and Stephen O’Brien (2013-05-19). "Church warns pro-abortion TDs". Sunday Times. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  7. ^ Patsy McGarry (18 January 2013). "Eamon Martin to succeed Brady". Irish Times. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  8. ^ "Monsignor Eamon Martin – profile". BBC News. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 2015-05-26. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ Archbishop Martin calls for united Ireland
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Seán Brady
Archbishop of Armagh