Papal Nuncio announces changes for Killala, Tuam, Achonry and Elphin

Press Release – Wednesday, 10 April 2024
Embargoed until 11.00am: Newsdesks, Photodesks and Religious Affairs Correspondents


Statement of Apostolic Nuncio Archbishop Montemayor regarding Dioceses of Killala, Tuam, Achonry and Elphin 


We know from personal experience that life is a process of adaptation to changing circumstances.  Although we seek to preserve at all times our essential identity, we adopt measures to meet new challenges as they arise.  That is true also of the life of the Church and it is reflected in what we are doing today.
To meet the evolving needs of the Church in the ecclesiastical Province of Tuam, it is necessary to envisage a gradual process of reorganisation, which will, it is hoped, give added impetus and vitality to the communities concerned.
Today, His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed the Archbishop of Tuam, Archbishop Francis Duffy, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Killala, and he has likewise appointed the Bishop of Elphin, Bishop Kevin Doran, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Achonry.  Due to the retirement of Bishop John Fleming, by reason of age, and due to the episcopal reassignment of Bishop Paul Dempsey, who will now become  Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Dublin, the Dioceses of Killala and Achonry have become vacant Episcopal Sees entrusted to the pastoral care of their respective Apostolic Administrator.
In due time, and following careful assessment and consultation, the present Dioceses of Tuam and Killala on the one hand, and Elphin and Achonry on the other, may be governed by one Bishop in each case, just as the Dioceses of Galway and Clonfert are today governed by one Bishop.  If this process evolves still further, the associated Dioceses may then merge fully under their Bishop, and, in this way, the six Dioceses in the Province of Tuam will eventually become three.
They say “in union there is strength”.  Thus, with pooled resources and combined endeavours, and trusting strongly in the grace of God, we can look to the future with hope and confidence.


  • His Excellency Archbishop Luis Mariano Montemayor, Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, delivered this statement today at Mass in the Cathedral of the Assumption, Tuam.