Francis Gerard Brooks

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Francis Gerard Brooks (14 January 1924 – 4 September 2010[1]) was the Roman Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Dromore, Northern Ireland.[2] Born in Rathfriland, County Down, he was confirmed 22 April 1934 in Barnmeen Church, Drumgath Parish before proceeding first to the Abbey Christian Brothers' Grammar School, then St Colman's College, Newry where eventually he was appointed Head Prefect, for his secondary education.

In 1942 he entered St Patrick's College, Maynooth to begin his studies for the priesthood, where he graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Science in 1945 and again with a Bachelor of Divinity in 1948. He was ordained Priest 19 June 1949.

After ordination he pursued post-graduate studies in Rome, achieving his Doctorate in Canon Law in June 1952. Dr Brooks was appointed in the autumn of 1953 to the staff of St. Colman's College, where he would go on to teach Science, Geography and Mathematics. Appointed as College President in 1972, he was also created a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter.

Very Rev Canon Brooks was appointed bishop of the diocese on 20 November 1975, and was ordained a bishop on 25 January 1976.[3] The principal consecrator was Cardinal William Conway; the principal co-consecrators were the Papal Nuncio Archbishop Gaetano Alibrandi and Bishop Eugene O'Doherty, the retiring bishop of the diocese.

Brooks retired on 4 June 1999,[3] and was succeeded by John McAreavey. He remained as Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Dromore until his death on 2 September 2010, aged 86.[3] At his funeral Mass his successor John McAreavey observed that "his life was touched often by the Troubles; the violence and suffering of many people in the diocese in those years affected him deeply. The discouragement of those years weighed heavily upon him."[4]