Friday’s Child Bishop Donal McKeown

Bishop McKeown.
Bishop McKeown.

This week’s Friday’s Child is the recently appointed Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown.

How would you describe yourself?

Energetic and enthusiastic.

Happiest childhood memory?

Playing in the fields and hedges behind our house – football, building tree houses, hiding in bales of hay etc

What was your first job?

My father fixed watches and clocks and I spent lots of free time working (or so I thought) with him! My first summer as a university student, I got a job in a ceramics factory in Italy.

Favourite book?

Bible. Someone said that the most worrying things about the Bible is not the passages that we don’t understand but the passages that we do understand!

Favourite film?

The Shawshank Redemption.

Favourite television programme?

Any good whodunit.

Favourite expression?

God bless you.

Favourite method of relaxation?

A good walk.

Favourite holiday destination?

Anywhere in Italy – but especially Montelupo where I spent summer 1969.

Who would you most like to meet?

St Francis of Assisi.

What makes you angry?

Lack of generosity or enthusiasm.

What makes you happy?

Seeing people who are in love with each other.

What human quality do you most admire?


What human quality do you least admire?

Greed and snobbery.

What has been the most embarrassing thing to happen to you?

Mistaking people’s names and pretending I know somebody that I have never met before!

What was the worst thing to happen to you in your life?

For a person of faith, there are no bad things, just painful things. For the God of the Cross is in everything.

What is your greatest fear?

Letting people down, when they have expected something good and beautiful from me.

What has been the high point of your life to date?

That’s obvious – being asked to be Bishop of Derry!

How would you like to be remembered?

As a normal human being who tried to love God and his people.

What is your most treasured possession?

A watch that belonged to an uncle whose name I bear but who died before I was born.

If you won the lotto what would you do with it?

Get rid of it to so many people who need it much more than I do, especially to wonderful Irish missionaries in the developing world.

If you could be granted one wish in life, what would you ask for?

To be a good person.

If you could write your own epitaph what would it be?

He helped us believe in a God who believes in people.