Arcbishop Michael Neary

  • Athlone native, and the Chancellor and Diocesan Secretary in the diocese of Elphin, Fr Michael Duignan is to become the new Bishop of Clonfert.

    He will succeed Bishop John Kirby who is retiring.

    The Archbishop of Tuam Dr Michael Neary has extended a very warm welcome to Fr Duignan on his appointment.

    Bishop Neary says that Fr. Michael brings varied gifts of theology, teaching experience at Saint Angela’s in Sligo together with administrative skills as Chancellor and Diocesan Secretary in Elphin to the position. 

    Father Michael is also celebrating the Silver Jubilee of his ordination to the priesthood this year.

  • The Archbishop of Tuam's says the state needs to be fully transparant with locals over plans to house asylum seekers on Achill in Co. Mayo.


    Michael Neary's comments follow protests on the island last week over reported plans to house asylum seekers at a hotel there.


    However, the Archbishop also says Christians have a responsibility to share with those who are less fortunate than themselves.


    He says it's well known, nationally and internationally, that Achill people are a welcoming people and added that we should be alert to those who are experiencing serious upheaval and a crisis of hope in their lives.

  • Funeral Masses will continue to be celebrated with immediate family members only, across all 6 western dioceses, and churches across the region will remain open during the pandemic.

    In three dioceses in other areas of the country, the celebration of funeral Masses have been discontinued under the present Covid-19 restrictions and churches have been closed.

    The Bishop of the Killala Dr John John Fleming says that funeral Masses will be available in the Archdiocese of Tuam, and the dioceses of Galway, Elphin, Killala, Achonry and Clonfert, (the 6 western dioceses).

    While the Archbishop of Tuam Dr Michael Neary says churches across the region will remain open to the public, however, the Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday across the 6 dioceses will be postponed.

    Archbishop Neary confirmed to Midwest News today that all churches in this region will remain open but he said they are urging those attending the Church throughout the day to abide by social distancing , hygiene and other restrictions imposed under the Covid 19 control measures.

    The Chrism Mass on Holy Thursday is to be postponed across all six western dioceses.

    The Chrism Mass is where priests renew their promises and the oils are blessed. The oils are then used in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, Ordinations and the Blessing of the Sick throughout the Church year.

    The Chrism is consecrated at the Chrism Mass.However, Archbishop Neary explained that three of the six western Bishops are cocooned at present due to government restrictions on Covid-19, as they are over 70 – himself, Dr John Fleming of Killala and the Bishop of Galway Dr Brendan Kelly and the new Bishop of Achonry has not yet been consecrated, and so they have decided to postpone the Chrism Mass that ordinarily takes place during Holy week, to a later date.

    Bishop John Fleming told Midwest News that baptism will be offered if there is a risk to a child’s mortality, and that weddings can be celebrated with just the couple and two witnesses.


  • Archbishop Michael Neary will celebrate Mass in Saint Mary’s Church, Westport, at 6.30pm this evening to mark the official beginning of this year’s pilgrimage.

    He will also celebrate Mass on the summit of Croagh Patrick at 11 o’clock in the morning on Reek Sunday.

    Mass will be celebrated every hour on the summit, beginning at 8 o’clock in the morning, with the final Mass starting at 2 o’clock.

    Celebrants will also include Father Stephen Farragher, who will celebrate Mass as Gaeilge at 10 in the morning and Bishop Fintan Monahan who will celebrate Mass at 12 noon.

    Pilgrims may also avail of the Sacrament of Reconciliation (Confession) at the summit from 7.30am to 2.00pm.                                             

  • Today, 2,945 candles were lit at Knock Basilica during a special Mass to remember all who have died from Covid-19 on the island of Ireland.


    The 12 noon Mass was celebrated by Most Rev Michael Neary, Archbishop of Tuam and streamed live to the world via the Knock Shrine website and social media and was also broadcast on the RTÉ News Channel in the afternoon.


    Archbishop Neary said, “Despite the sadness, fear and uncertainty that we have experienced this year, God as Shepherd will gather His people, feed the hungry, bandage the wounded, heal the injured, and make the weak strong.  During November, as we remember all who have died across the island of Ireland from Covid-19, we experience the Shepherd’s care for them, and for those who mourn them.  This Mass is offered for the repose of their souls. May the merciful Lord bless and comfort all who are in mourning at this time.”


    Fr Richard Gibbons, PP and Rector of Knock Shrine encouraged people to place petitions online in the weeks leading up to the Mass. These were placed at the sanctuary and prayers were offered for them. A Paschal candle together with 2,945 candles were laid out on purple cloth around the sanctuary of the Basilica.