The Bishop of Limerick and Killaloe, the Rt Rev Dr Kenneth Kearon, and the Bishop of Tuam, Killala and Achonry, the Rt Rev Patrick Rooke, have both announced their intention to retire on 31st October.
Commenting on the announcement, the Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, the Most Revd John McDowell, said: “There will be time and opportunity to say something more when the date of the Bishops’ retirement comes round, but for now I wish to thank Bishop Patrick Rooke and Bishop Kenneth Kearon for their respective and very distinctive contributions to the work of the House of Bishops and to the life of the Church of Ireland.
“When each was elected to the House, they brought with them a combination of wide experience and unique gifts. Bishop Rooke has worked tirelessly on an enormous range of projects on behalf of the Bishops with his characteristic thoroughness and energy. Bishop Kearon brought with him an unparalleled knowledge and experience of the Anglican Communion which he generously shared with many of us during the course of the last six years.
“Both Bishops, working together, with patience and pastoral care, successfully negotiated (in every sense of that word) the amalgamation of their united dioceses, which can now look to the future with confidence and optimism.
“May I wish both Bishops God’s continued presence and blessing as they prepare, over the coming months, to move into a new phase of life and vocation.”
The Archbishop of Dublin and Primate of Ireland, the Most Revd Dr Michael Jackson, remarked: “I would like to commend Bishop Patrick Rooke and Bishop Kenneth Kearon for their positive contributions to the life of the Church of Ireland in the dioceses of Tuam, Killala and Achonry and Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert and beyond. Geographically, the dioceses cover a large area along our western seaboard with a diverse population. Members of the Church of Ireland in the West of Ireland make a great contribution to their own communities and to the wider Church.
“The retirement of Bishop Rooke and Bishop Kearon will bring significant structural change to the dioceses. Both the Bishops now retiring and the people of Tuam, Killala and Achonry and of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert have done sustained work in building a firm foundation for their future together. They are to be commended on the spirit in which this work has been carried out collaboratively. There will be much to do in the coming months and years but I wish to assure them of my support as they travel this road together.”
The two bishops are pictured below with the former Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Ken Good.