New Derry Bishop in place ‘for Christmas’

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Derry is expected to have a new Catholic Bishop before the end of the year.

This is the view of senior church sources in the Diocese who are of the opinion that Pope Francis will make an announcement some time in the autumn with the new man possibly in place “for Christmas”.

Derry has been without a Bishop since Dr. Seamus Hegarty’s decision to stand down for health reasons in November 2011.

Earlier this year, Diocesan Administrator Fr. Francis Bradley said he hoped an announcement would come before the end of November which marks the conclusion of the Year of Faith.

“Surely, somewhere near or far, a bishop will be found for us,” he told the ‘Journal’.

He said a new Bishop would be a fitting way to enhance Derry’s City of Culture celebrations.

Among those tipped for the Derry job is Bishop Donal McKeown, currently Auxiliary Bishop of Down and Connor.