Roman Catholic Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise

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Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise
Dioecesis Ardachadensis et Cluanensis
Deoise Ardach agus Chluain Mhic Nóis
Country  Republic of Ireland
Territory Most of counties Longford and Leitrim and parts of counties Cavan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath
Ecclesiastical province Province of Armagh
Metropolitan Archdiocese of Armagh
Area 940 sq mi (2,400 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2015)
76,626 (86%)
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established 1756
Cathedral St. Mel's Cathedral, Longford
Patron saint St Mel
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Francis Duffy,
Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise
Metropolitan Archbishop Eamon Martin
Vicar General Monsignor Patrick Early
Emeritus Bishops Colm O'Reilly
Roman Catholic Diocese of Ardagh map.png

The Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise (Irish: Deoise Ardach agus Chluain Mhic Nóis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in Ireland.


The diocese is entirely within the Republic of Ireland and contains most of counties Longford and Leitrim, with parts of counties Cavan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo and Westmeath. The main towns in the diocese are Athlone, Ballymahon, Carrick-on-Shannon, Edgeworthstown, Granard and Longford.

Ecclesiastical history[edit]

Lordship and Kingdom of Ireland[edit]

The union of the sees of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, which had been proposed in 1709, was carried into effect following the death of Stephen MacEgan, Bishop of Meath on 30 May 1756, who had been administering the see of Clonmacnoise.[1][2] Augustine Cheevers, Bishop of Ardagh, was translated to the see of Meath on 7 August 1756, and Anthony Blake was appointed as the first bishop of united see of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise on 11 August 1756.[1][2]

Modern times[edit]

On Christmas Day 2009, St Mel's cathedral in Longford was destroyed by fire. Bishop O'Reilly said that the building is "just a shell" and "burned out from end to end", the bishop said construction on the Cathedral began in 1840 and he described it as a flagship Cathedrals of the midlands. After a long investigation the cause of the fire was traced back to a brick lined chimney at the rear of the cathedral[3]

Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise[edit]

On 17 July 2013, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of the Most Reverend Colm O'Reilly from the pastoral government of the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise, in accordance with Canon 401 §1 of the Latin Church Code of Canon Law. On the same day, Francis Duffy was appointed the Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise by Pope Francis[4] and received episcopal consecration from Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh on 6 October 2013.[5]

List of parishes[edit]

The following are the current parishes in the diocese (official names in italics where they differ from the currently-used names)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Fryde et al. 1986, Handbook of British Chronology, p. 414.
  2. ^ a b Moody, Martin & Byrne 1984, A New History of Ireland, vol. IX, p. 341.
  3. ^ St Mel’s Cathedral rises again from the ashes, 14 October 2014 .
  4. ^ "Rinunce e Nomine". The Holy See (in Italian). 17 July 2013. Archived from the original on 21 July 2013. Retrieved 18 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "Bishop Francis Duffy". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 


  • Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I., eds. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd, reprinted 2003 ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. 
  • Moody, T. W.; Martin, F. X.; Byrne, F. J., eds. (1984). Maps, Genealogies, Lists: A Companion to Irish History, Part II. A New History of Ireland. Volume IX. Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-821745-5. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Devaney, Rev. Owen, Ardagh and Clonmacnois: Footsteps of Mel and Ciarán, Booklink, 2005.

External links[edit]

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "article name needed". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton. 

Coordinates: 53°43′38″N 7°47′47″W / 53.7272°N 7.7963°W / 53.7272; -7.7963