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Diocesan coat of arms

Diocese of GalwayKilmacduagh & Kilfenora

Deoise na GaillimheChill Mac Duach & Chill Fhionnúrach

Current & Emeritus Bishops

Bishop Brendan KellyBishop Kelly photo

Born in Derrybrien in the parish of Ballinakill, Co. Galway on 20 May 1946 to Seán and Annie Kelly, Bishop Brendan was the second of nine children. He attended Craughwell National School and subsequently boarded at St Mary's Diocesan College in Galway City. Following completion of his Leaving Certificate in 1964 he applied to and was accepted by the then bishop, Michael Browne, to study for diocesan priesthood in the Galway diocese. He was sent to St Patrick's College, Maynooth, in September of that year. As a seminarian Bishop Brendan completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1967 and a Bachelor of Divinity Degree in 1970.

He was ordained to the priesthood on 20 June 1971 by Bishop Browne in the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas. His first appointment was to the parish of Kinvara as a curate before being appointed to the teaching staff of Coláiste Éinde in Salthill in 1972, completing a Higher Diploma in Education in University College Galway (now NUI Galway) in 1973. Bishop Brendan remained on the staff of Coláiste Éinde until 1980 when he was transferred to the teaching staff of Our Lady’s College, Gort, where he became President in 1986.

Following the 1995 amalgamation of the three Gort secondary schools, Bishop Brendan applied for and was granted sabbatical leave from his diocese for one year and went to live with the L’Arche Community at Cuise-la-Motte in France. Founded by Jean Vanier in 1964, the worldwide L’Arche movement seeks to create inclusive, creative and caring families where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work in friendship, joy and mutual respect.

Returning to his diocese in 1996, Bishop Brendan was appointed by Bishop James McLoughlin as parish priest of Lisdoonvarna in Co. Clare and subsequently as parish priest of An Spidéal in 2003.

Bishop Kelly's crest
Bishop Kelly's crest

On 20 November 2007 Bishop Brendan was named by Pope Benedict XVI as the Bishop of Achonry, succeeding Bishop Thomas Flynn, and on 27 January 2008 he was ordained to the episcopate by Cardinal Seán Brady in the Cathedral of the Annunciation and St Nathy in Ballaghaderreen.

On 11 December 2017 Pope Francis named Bishop Brendan as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora, succeeding Bishop Martin Drennan who retired in July 2016. Bishop Kelly was offically installed as bishop in the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and St Nicholas, Galway, on 11 February 2018, the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes.


Bishop Emeritus

Most Reverend Martin Drennan DD

Retired as Bishop 29 July 2016

Bishop Drennan photo

Martin Drennan was born on 2 January 1944 in Piltown, County Kilkenny. Educated at Tobernabrone National School and Saint Kieran's College, Kilkenny, he studied for the priesthood at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, and was ordained in 1968. Subsequently he was awarded a Licentiate in Sacred Theology. Continuing his studies at the Biblical Institute in Rome he was awarded a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture in 1971.

On his return to Ireland he served as curate in St Mary's Cathedral, Kilkenny, and in Ballycallan. From 1975 to 1980 he taught scripture in the seminary at St Kieran's College. He then returned to Rome to serve as spiritual director to the students of the Irish College until 1985.

During the summer of 1985 he was appointed Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St Patrick's College, Maynooth. He continued to teach there until his appointment as Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin in 1997 with pastoral responsibility for the East Wicklow and South Dublin areas.

He was installed as Bishop of Galway and Kilmacduagh and Apostolic Administrator of Kilfenora on 3 July 2005.