A successor to the Catholic primate Cardinal Sean Brady (73) will be announced at a press conference in Armagh this morning.
of a co-adjutor Archbisop of Armagh - who will have canon law
entitlements to succeed Cardinal Brady - has been expected for some
Cardinal Brady would have been due to retire when he reached
the age of 75 in August 2014.
He may continue in office until that
The Cardinal has been subject to much criticism since it emerged in
March 2010 that he had conducted inquiries into allegations of child sex
abuse involving Fr Brendan Smyth in 1975 at the conclusion of which he
swore two boys to secrecy who he believed were abused by the priest.
Following the then Fr Brady’s investigation, Fr Smyth was prevented from
ministering in Cardinal Brady’s native Kilmore diocese until 1984.
civil authorities were not informed of Fr Smyth’s abuse of children and
he continued to abuse young people until shortly before his imprisonment
by a Belfast court in 1993
A native of Laragh, Co Cavan, in the diocese of Kilmore, Cardinal Brady
was born in August 1939. He was educated at Caulfield national school,
Laragh; St Patrick’s College, Cavan; St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and
the Irish College, Rome, where he was ordained in February 1964. He
received a doctorate in canon law at Rome’s Lateran University in 1967.
His first appointment was as a teacher in St Patrick’s College, Cavan,
where he was from 1967-80. In 1980 he was appointed vice-rector of the
Irish College in Rome and in 1987 became rector there, a post he held
until 1993 when he returned to Ireland to become parish priest at
Ballyhaise in Co Cavan.
On February 19th,1995 he was himself ordained Coadjutor Archbishop of
Armagh, and on the retirement of Cardinal Cahal Daly succeeded him as
Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland on October 1st 1996. He
was installed as Archbishop of Armagh on November 3rd, 1996.
On October 17th, 2007, Pope Benedict announced that Archbishop Brady was
to be created a Cardinal and he was elevated to the College of
Cardinals at a ceremony in St Peter’s Basilica on November 24th, 2007.
He is currently chair of the Irish Episcopal Conference.
Later today he will lead a Catholic church delegation at a meeting with
the Government in Dublin.
It is part of the ongoing “structured
dialogue” process involving the churches, other faiths and ethical
Taoiseach Enda Kenny will be accompanied in Government Buildings by
Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn, Minister for Health James Reilly
and Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald.
delegation will be led by Cardinal Brady, who will be accompanied by
Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise Dr Colm O’Reilly, Bishop of Cork and
Ross Dr John Buckley, Bishop of Achonry Brendan Kelly, Fr Michael Drumm,
chairman of the Catholic Schools Partnership, and Fr Gearóid Dullea and
Fr Tim Bartlett of the Irish Episcopal Conference secretariat.
The agenda is expected to include abortion legislation, school patronage
and the divesting of Catholic-run schools to other patron bodies.
Recent unrest in Belfast and the pressures of the recession are also
expected to be discussed.
A plenary meeting was hosted by the Taoiseach in May 2011.
attended by Cardinal Brady, senior representatives of other Christian
churches, senior Muslims, Jews, Bahá’is and humanists.