Fr Niall Coll has been chosen by Pope Francis to be the next bishop of Ossory.
The East Donegal priest returned to the Raphoe diocese in 2020 after 19 years away. Fr Coll had been a lecturer in Religious Studies at Belfast’s St Mary’s University College since 2001.
He was the Parish Priest of Drumholm (Ballintra) when he returned and in Donegal Town but now will move on to this prestigious role.
Bishop McGuckian released a statement on the appointment, and said: “Fr Niall Coll has been chosen by Pope Francis to be the next bishop of Ossory. On my own behalf and on behalf of the priests and people of the Diocese of Raphoe, I offer Fr Coll sincere congratulations. I can say honestly that Ossory’s gain will be our loss.
“Fr Niall has always put his many skills and talents at the service of the Church wherever he has been asked and needed. A skilled Theologian he has served at Third Level in both St Patrick’s College Carlow and St Mary’s University College in Belfast. He worked with young people at Second Level in St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny and Pobalscoil na Rosann.
“As a young priest he served as a curate in Dungloe and more recently he has been the Parish Priest of both Drumholm (Ballintra) and Tawnawilly (Donegal and Clar). Since his return to Donegal he has served on our Diocesan Pastoral Council and worked closely with priests and people to promote our Pastoral Plan ‘Forward together; Ar aghaidh le chéile’. He will be a great loss to the Diocese and to the Parish of Tawnawilly.
“This appointment must be a source of great joy for Fr Niall’s family. We congratulate his father and mother, Willie and Kathleen, his brother and sisters and wide family circle. His home parish of St Johnston will take pride in the choice of one of their own to serve as a bishop.
“As well as an honour, service as a bishop is a heavy burden and so I ask everyone in the diocese to pray very specially for Fr Niall that he will have all the grace he needs to serve the people of Ossory with generosity and zeal.”