Mons. McCanny dismisses talk of role as bishop

Monsignor Bryan McCanny.  (2306JB40)
Monsignor Bryan McCanny. (2306JB40)

Limavady Parish Priest, Monsignor Bryan McCanny has dismissed speculation he is tipped to be in the running as the next Bishop of Derry.

Shortly after Dr. Seamus Hegarty announced his intention to stand down last week, names of potential successors arose in the diocese and further afield.

Among those mentioned were Monsignor Eamon Martin - a former President of St Columb’s College - and Monsignor Bryan McCanny, a former Administrator of the Long Tower parish.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday, Mons. McCanny said while people tend to focus within the diocese, he said the trend in areas, such as England and America, show there is an opportunity outside the diocese.

“It could be in some other part of Ireland,” he added, saying it could take a year or so for a successor to be appointed.

When asked if he was in the running, 60-year-old Monsignor McCanny, who was appointed Vicar General in the Diocese in 2010, said: “Well, for a start, I am too old!” he laughed.

Speaking about Dr. Hegarty’s resignation he said he was aware of it for some time and said the 71 year-old would be a “great loss” to the diocese. He said Bishop Hegarty had completed a lot of “great work” during his 17 years “and a lot of quiet work that won’t be realised for a number of years”. He said Bishop Hegarty had always shown “kindness towards priests and has always been very fair and supportive and very approachable”.

“He has done a lot of marvellous work over the years,” added Mons. McCanny.

Having been in Limavady as Parish Priest more than a year, Mons. McCanny said: “I am enjoying it very much here and I hope to see my retirement out here!”

In the statement announcing his intention to step aside, Bishop Hegarty said he was no longer able to fulfil his diocesan duties after being diagnosed with an “irreversible” illness.