Our congratulations go to Bishop Dermot Farrell, former President of Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth. Our prayers and wishes go with him for his new ministry. Bishop Farrell was appointed Executive Assistant to the President in Maynooth, continuing to lecture in Moral Theology in 1990. In 1993 he became Vice-President and President from 1996 – 2007.
On the occasion of his ordination, he said: "When I think of the responsibilities and duties that lie ahead I am comforted by the words of Saint Augustine in a sermon he preached on the anniversary of his ordination. He told his people: “Believe me, brothers and sisters, that if what I am for you frightens me, what I am with you reassures me. For you, I am bishop; with you I am a Christian.” He also addressed important social issues.
On the afternoon of his ordination at at St Mary's Cathedral, Kilkenny, he called on those in power to 'act with urgency' in tackling the issue in his welcoming address to the congregation. In particular he directed a powerful message to politicians to address the homelessness crisis and forthcoming Referendum. On the scandal of homelessness, he said:
"Coming to Kilkenny, I am conscious of the wonderful work accomplished here over the generations, to offer a life with dignity to every person in our communities. Today, it is surely not an impossible dream to hope that no person, particularly no child, in this country would be left homeless or go to bed hungry. I am thinking not only of those in hotel rooms, but also of our immigrants in detention centres and direct provision — every one of them precious to God. With more than 3,000 children in this country who have no place they can call their home, with families who do not have a front door to call their own, who have no family table -- do we not have an obligation to call those in political leadership, who hold power and carry responsibility, to act with urgency, for the wellbeing of our sisters and brothers?," he said.
On the forthcoming referendum on the Eighth Amendment to the Irish Constitution, he said:
“In these days we are all very aware of the need to protect the life of every child in the womb. There is no such thing as a human life that has no value.
However it is paradoxical and in some ways the ultimate delusion — to extinguish this most fundamental right of all, the right to life of the innocent child, in the name of personal and civil rights”