Archbishop Eamon Martin leads tributes following death of Bishop Martin Drennan

Archbishop Eamon Martin leads tributes following death of Bishop Martin Drennan

Updated: 2 months, 2 days, 21 hours, 55 minutes, 4 seconds ago

Archbishop Eamon Martin has led tributes following the death of former Bishop Martin Drennan .

The retired Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora passed away at St Vincent’s Hospital on Friday. He was 78.

Orginally from Piltown, Co Kilkenny, he studied at Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth and was ordained to the priesthood in 1968 and went on to studies in Rome where he was a spiritual director at the Pontifical Irish College in the 1980s.

In a statement yesterday evening, the Archbishop expressed his sympathy on behalf of himself and fellow bishops.

“ A quiet person by nature, Bishop Drennan was a deeply spiritual, devoted and generous priest and bishop, who was widely respected for his piety, humility, intelligence and strength of character. Throughout his ministry Bishop Drennan was held in affection by his students, parishioners, clergy and religious whom he sought to serve as priest, bishop and shepherd,” he said.

Bishop Drennan served as a member of the Irish Bishops’ Conference from 1997 until 2016, when he retired early due to ill health.

"During that time Bishop Drennan was a dedicated member of the Conference, committed and especially knowledgeable in the areas of liturgy, catechetics and doctrine. Drawing from his experience as a former professor of scripture, his grasp of the power of God’s word brought a depth and richness to his contributions to the work of the Bishops’ Conference,” he said.

“At this time of loss, I pray that Bishop Drennan’s brother Father Michael Drennan SJ, his other family members and loved ones, will find comfort in knowing that he was a good and faithful servant of the Gospel. I extend sympathy also to the parishioners and clergy in Galway and in his former diocese of Dublin. May God have mercy on his soul and may he rest in the peace of Christ whom he served with love and dedication. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.”

Meanwhile, Bishop Michael Duignan also paid tribute after learning of Bishop Drennan’s death.

“Yesterday, I received the sad news that Bishop Martin Drennan had died at St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin surrounded by his loving family. I offer my sympathy to his family, to our diocesan community and to his many friends. Bishop Martin was a Kilkenny man to the core who took the West of Ireland to his heart. Even though he continued to avidly support the black and amber of his birthplace, Galway became his home and the people of the west became his new family and his dear friends,” he said in a statement.

“Ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Ossory in 1968, his first appointments were to St Mary’s Cathedral, Kilkenny and to Ballycallan parishes before returning to further studies. Sacred Scripture was his passion. Fr. Martin was to become an internationally respected academic and taught with energy, passion and insight at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth as Professor of Old Testament. His was skilled at making the inspired words of the ancient biblical texts relevant, powerful and life giving to the modern world.”

Bishop Drennan’s funeral Mass will take place at 1pm on Wednesday in the Cathedral of Our Lady Assumed into Heaven and Saint Nicholas, Galway, followed by interment there