Derry seems to have more Bishops than a chess board

The Most Rev. Dr. Donal McKeown speaking in St Eugene's Cathedral after his appointment as Bishop of Derry. (DER0814PG018)
The Most Rev. Dr. Donal McKeown speaking in St Eugene's Cathedral after his appointment as Bishop of Derry. (DER0814PG018)

After a long wait Derry got a new bishop last week. Bishop Donal McKeown, a most impressive and popular man, will be warmly received here.

Local journalist Seamus McKinney of the Irish News pointed out that Derry now has more bishops than a chess board.

Dr McKeown’s appointment brings the number living in the diocese to six.

There’s Seamus Hegarty, Edward Daly, Francis Lagan, Ken Good, James Mehaffey and Eamonn Martin.

They’ll be useful for keeping an eye on us.

More particularly, they’ll be keeping an eye on the rest of the clergy.

“It’s great being a priest, isn’t it, Ted,” says Father Dougal in a 1994 episode of Graham Linehan’s Father Ted.

Do you remember the episode where the TV priests gave Bishop Brennan (Jim Norton) a kick up the arse?

It’s one of those TV episodes that will go down in the annals of history.

Some years ago in a hotel sauna in Edinburgh I found myself sitting beside a man I thought I recognised. After a while I figured out that he was none other than Jim Norton, alias Bishop Brennan. (It’s hard to recognise a bishop without his clothes!)

I had a friendly chat with the celebrated actor whom I had also seen several times on stage in Dublin’s Abbey Theatre.

The thought did cross my mind, however, that it would have been the perfect opportunity to give ‘Bishop Brennan’ a kick up the arse for Ted and Dougal!