Parish priests to double-up duties in Derry diocese

Four parish priests in counties Derry, Donegal and Tyrone will take over the pastoral duties in a second parish
Seamus McKinney

A NUMBER of parish priests in the Derry diocese are to double-up their duties in a move designed to deal with the retirement of experienced priests and the fall in vocations.

Derry diocesan spokesman Fr Michael Canny said four parish priests in counties Derry, Donegal and Tyrone will take over the pastoral duties in a second parish. The move was confirmed by Bishop Donal McKeown in his annual list of clerical changes for the diocese.

The affected parishes include: Clonmany and Culdaff, Lavey and Greenlough, Badony Upper and Ardstraw East and Desertmartin and Ballinascreen.

Fr Canny said: “I would say that in the future, you might have one parish priest overseeing three or four parishes.”

The Derry priest said parish work would be carried out by curates who would assist their parish priest.

The full list of clerical changes in the Derry diocese is:


Fr. Brian Brady, PP Errigal, to be PP Clonmany and PP Culdaff, residing in Clonmany, as well as Vicar Forane for the Inishowen Deanery;

Fr. Eugene Hasson, PP Greencastle, to be PP Lavey (Termoneeny) and PP Greenlough, residing in Lavey;

Fr. Brian Donnelly, PP Badoney Upper, to be, in addition, PP Ardstraw East (Newtownstewart), residing in Badoney Upper;

Fr. Peter Madden, PP Desertmartin, to be, in addition, PP Ballinascreen, residing in Ballinascreen;

Fr. Seamus Kelly, PP Ballinascreen, to be PP Dungiven;

Fr. Fintan Diggin, PP Clonmany, to be PP Errigal;

Fr. Eamon Graham, PP Banagher, to be Administrator Templemore (Long Tower);

Fr. Michael Porter, PP Leckpatrick, to be PP Urney and Castlefin;

Fr. Patrick Baker, PP Lavey (Termoneeny), to be PP Banagher;

Fr. Gerard Sweeney, PP Ardstraw East (Newtownstewart), to be PP Leckpatrick;

Fr. Edward Gallagher, Administrator Templemore (Long Tower) to be PP Greencastle;

Fr. Aidan Mullan, PP Dungiven, to retire as Parish Priest and become CC Three Patrons;

Fr. Oliver Crilly, PP Greenlough, to retire as Parish Priest and become Priest-in-Residence Urney and Castlefin;

Fr. Brian McGoldrick, PP Urney and Castlefin, to retire;

Fr. James McGonagle, PP Culdaff and Vicar Forane for the Inishowen Deanery, to retire;

Fr. Paul Fraser, returning from Arundel and Brighton, to be CC Creggan;

Fr. Dermott Harkin, CC Ardstraw West and Castlederg, to be CC Lavey and CC Greenlough, residing in Greenlough;

Fr. Roland Colhoun, CC Glendermott and CC Strathfoyle, to be CC Badoney Upper and CC Ardstraw East (Newtownstewart), residing in Ardstraw East (Newtownstewart);

Fr. James McGrory, Judicial Vicar of the Armagh Regional Marriage Tribunal, to be CC Clonmany and CC Culdaff, residing in Culdaff;

Fr. Seán O’Donnell, newly ordained, to be CC Glendermott and CC Strathfoyle;

Fr. Francis Lynch OP, on loan to the Diocese of Derry and currently CC Urney and Castlefin, to be CC Ballinascreen and CC Desertmartin, residing in Desertmartin.


Bishop McKeown also announced the recent retirement of Fr. George Doherty as CC Desertegney and Lower Fahan.


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