Yesterday, I was contacted by one of my Dublin informants about the forthcoming clergy changes that have been proposed by Archbishop Farrell for the priests of the Archdiocese of Dublin.

A list of the proposed changes has been circulated. But I am told the list is embargoed. In a tactic known within Whitehall, my sources tell me that some of the lists have been subtly modified in order to identify “leakers” to this blog.

My informant noted that no parishes were suppressed. And, in a sign of the times I observe that in several cases individual priests have been appointed the parish priest of two parishes.

None of this comes as a surprise. It is only a matter of time before amalgamation of parishes within the Archdiocese of Dublin commences. On the blog today, I am predicting in the next two to five years that Archbishop Farrell will have no choice but to commence a programme of parish amalgamation that has been implemented in the United States.

I suspect that what will drive the amalgamations — if the rumours are true that the Dominicans want to pull out of the running of several Dublin parishes.

This would be in keeping with other religious orders who have handed back parishes to the archdiocese with the most recent being the Carmelites on Berkley Road.


With respect to the forthcoming changes my sources further tell me that there has been a lot of resistance to the proposed moves because all is not well within the Archdiocese of Dublin.

I was told that some priests were deeply resistant to being moved. And, I was further told that some clerics have submitted doctors’ letters to Archbishop Farrell as justification for their refusal to move parishes because to do so would be detrimental to their mental health.


However, I am unable to ascertain if these letters were successful or not. It is quite a cunning move and it may have significantly reduced Farrell’s room for manoeuvre much to his considerable frustration.

However, it is the case that if there were more priests available this would allow Farrell to firmly place his own stamp within the archdiocese. Instead, it looks like he is going to preside over the slow decline of the archdiocese

Archbishop Farrell will have to submit his resignation when he turns seventy-five in about 7.5 years. I am led to believe that Archbishop Farrell has ordained men to the priesthood for religious congregations but, I do wonder before he retires will he ordain even one mote priest for service within the Archdiocese of Dublin?

Speaking of priestly ordinations, my informant is wondering is Archbishop Farrell contemplating ordaining Deacon Byrne to the presbyteral order? I understand that Deacon Byrne is living rent-free in a presbytery in Dublin?

But, it would appear that Deacon Byrne pursuing qualifications in counselling and psychotherapy. It is rumoured that the process of laicisation has begun for Deacon Byrne. Perhaps, when that is completed, will the then Mr. Byrne set up a business providing counselling services to the ever-diminishing remnant of clergy ministering within the Archdiocese of Dublin. Stranger things have happened!


Is Fr John Gates, Magherafelt ill?