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Bishop of Clogher Liam MacDaid resigns with immediate effect due to ill health

Bishop of Clogher Liam MacDaid has announced his resignation with immediate effect due to ill health

THE Bishop of Clogher, Liam MacDaid, has resigned with immediate effect due to ill health.

In a letter to parishioners read at all Masses across the diocese at the weekend, Bishop MacDaid (71) said he was making the announcement of his departure with "very mixed feelings."

The cleric has suffered from Parkinson's disease for several years and said his condition has deteriorated.

Bishop MacDaid said that when appointed to lead the Clogher Diocese in July 2010, he was given medical advice that he should "keep it under review" but was encouraged not to let the illness prevent him becoming bishop.

Bishop MacDaid said: "It is at least seven years ago since many of you noticed the tell-tale tremor in the hands at the altar which was subsequently diagnosed as Parkinson’s disease.

"I was fortunate to have excellent medical care but it is a neurodegenerative condition which over time gets worse rather than better, to put it simply."

He added: "The office of Bishop is stressful and demanding work-wise so it was inevitable that I would find my own condition becoming increasingly problematic and beginning to interfere with my capacity to fulfil my responsibilities."

Bishop MacDaid, who was born in Bundoran, Co Donegal, was ordained a priest in 1969 and later taught at St Macartan's College in Monaghan town, where he was also President for nine years until 1989.

A keen GAA fan, the bishop lined out for the Donegal footballers in the 1970s.

Clogher straddles the border and covers the counties of Monaghan and Fermanagh and parts of Tyrone, Cavan, Donegal and Louth.

The move leaves Clogher with two retired bishops, following the resignation of Bishop Joseph Duffy in May 2010, after he reached retirement age. 

In March that year he admitted he had failed to report the sexual abuse of a child by a priest in the diocese.

The bishop said it was to his "regret" that he had not notified police in 1989 when he was made aware of the allegation against John McCabe, who was convicted in 1996 of abusing a boy between 1979 and 1985.

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