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An Eaglais in Éirinn
The Church in Ireland
The church in Ireland is divided into four metropolitan provinces or areas roughly corresponding to the four provinces. The diocesan boundries were by and large determined by the 12th century and have remained unchanged since. There are a few peculiarities caused by conditions at that time. For instance every diocese has access to the sea so that bishops would not have to enter possibly hostile neighbouring dioceses to travel abroad.
The histories of the various dioceses are very interesting. A full List of the Irish Dioceses
Details of other interesting sites in Ireland are given here.
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Province of Armagh.
Metropolitan: Archbishop Seán Brady
The province roughly corresponds to the Province of Ulster although it also includes parts of Leinster and Connaught.
The Archdiocese of Armagh is the Primatial See of Ireland, traditionally set up by St. Patrick in the 5th Century.
The Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnoise The diocese of is spread over parts of seven counties in the centre of Ireland. It includes the ancient site of Clonmacnoise, "Ciarán's city fair." which kept alive the flame of learning in Europe during the Dark Ages, educating many of the great people of Europe during that time including Alfred the Great, the only monarch of England to bear this epithet.
The Diocese of Clogher covers Monaghan, Fermanagh, Tyrone and Donegal and it's most famous for the penitential pilgrimage centre of Lough Derg.
The Diocese of Derry Headquartered in the Maiden City of Derry, Doire Cholmcille, the patrons are Saint Eugene and especially St Colmcille.
TheDiecese of Down and Connor encompasses the city of Belfast and the counties of Antrim and Down.
The Diocese of Kilmore covers most of the county of Cavan and parts of the surrounding counties.
The Diocese of Meath has the precedence of honour over all other Irish dioceses, ranking immediately after the metropolitans.In ancient times Meath was the fifth province and seat of the High Kings at Tara.
The Diocese of Raphoe covers the present-day county of Donegal in the northwest of Ireland and includes the largest Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area) in the country.
Province of Dublin
Metropolitan: Archbishop Diarmuid Martin
This province covers the capital, Dublin, part of the midlands and South Leinster.
The Archdiocese of Dublin covers the Capital City and includes the ancient see of Glendalough (Gleann dá Locha) in county Wicklow.
The Diocese of Ferns, comprises Co Wexford and parts of the surrounding counties in South Leinster.
The Kildare and Leighlin comprises roughly the counties of Kildare and Carlow. The Diocese of Kildare is the ancient see founded by St Brigid with St Conleth as its first bishop. Leighlin, the southern part of the diocese was united with Kildare in 1678.
The Diocese of Ossory covers the county of Kilkenny and environs and lays claim to be "Ireland's oldest bishopric". The monestery here of St Canice gave St Feargal (Virgilius) to Salzburg, one of the few Irish born canonized saints.
Province of Cashel
Metropolitan: Archbishop Dermot Clifford
This province comprises Munster or the southern province of Ireland.
The Archdiocese of Cashel & Emily is the metropolitan See.
Forty-six parishes in Tipperary and Limerick form the Archdiocese.
The Diocese of Cloyne centered on East and North Cork has one of the most imposing of all Irish cathedrals. This neo-gothic masterpiece is situated on the hill overlooking Europe's largest natural harbour at Cobh. The carillon of 47 bells is the largest in Ireland.
The Diocese of Limerick, the area comprising the City and county of Limerick and surrounding area.
The Diocese of Cork and Ross Covers much of the county of Cork. Ross is situated in West Cork.
The Diocese of Kerry is on the south west tip of Ireland.
The Diocese of Waterford and Lismore is situated in the lush south east of Munster. The diocese includes Waterford City & County as well as part of Counties Tipperary & Cork.
Province of Tuam
Metropolitan: Archbishop Donal Neary
This province comprises Connaught or the western province.
Archdiocese of Tuam occupies the largest area of any diocese in Ireland.
Diocese of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora, which incorporates the city of Galway, the fastest growing city in Europe.
The Diocese of Achonry is based around the counties of Roscommon and Mayo with its cathedral in Ballaghaderreen.
The Diocese of Clonfert is one of the smallest dioceses in Ireland with just twenty-four parishes. It covers east Galway centered on Loughrea where the cathedral is described as "a Treasure House of Celtic Revival art."
The Diocese of Elphin covers parts counties Sligo, Roscommon and Galway. It was set up as a diocese in 1111AD
Last update: 29/9/2002