Northern Ireland news

Derry Church of Ireland leader appointed to key job in Dublin

Dr William Morton has been appointed Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin
Seamus McKinney

A DERRY clergyman has been elected to one of the most high-profile positions in the Church of Ireland.

Very Rev Dr William Morton has been appointed Dean of St Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, the national cathedral of the Church.

Currently Dean of Derry, the 59-year-old has served at St Columb’s Cathedral in the city since 1997. He was previously a curate in Letterkenny.

A graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, Dean Morton was ordained deacon in 1988 and “priested” the following year.

His appointment to Dublin has been widely welcomed in Church of Ireland circles.

Bishop of Derry and Raphoe Ken Good said it was “a fitting recognition of his highly effective work”.

“William’s ministry in St Columb’s Cathedral in the city of Londonderry, in the dioceses of Derry and Raphoe, and in the wider church and community, has been selflessly exercised and greatly appreciated,” he said.

“The major restoration projects he has overseen in St Columb’s Cathedral have been particularly effective and widely applauded."

Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland Richard Clarke also congratulated Dean Morton.

He said: “I know that he will draw on his extensive and valuable experience as Dean of Derry in this important role in the life of the Church.”

Sinn Fein’s Martin McGuinness said Dean Morton had made a significant contribution to reconciliation in Derry since his arrival in the city.

“He also played a key role in the cultural life of Derry, opening up the historic cathedral to a wider audience and, as a gifted musician, with the regular concerts and recitals in the cathedral," he said.

“Derry’s loss is certainly Dublin’s gain and I wish Dean Morton and his family well with the new role in Dublin."

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