Northern Ireland news

Dr John McAreavey one of north's best-known bishops

Dr John McAreavey has resigned as Bishop of Dromore. Picture by Colm Lenaghan, Pacemaker

BANBRIDGE-BORN Dr John McAreavey is one of Northern Ireland's best-known Catholic bishops.

Ordained as a priest in 1973, the 69-year-old is a former teacher and professor of Canon Law. A former head of Armagh Regional Marriage Tribunal, he has been involved in the pastoral care of engaged and married couples throughout his ministry.

A fluent Irish speaker, he was ordained as Bishop of Dromore in 1999 at the relatively young age of 50.

In late 2010, he officiated at the wedding of his nephew John McAreavey to Michaela Harte, daughter of Tyrone manager Mickey Harte. Just weeks later, in January 2011, Mrs McAreavey was murdered on her honeymoon in Mauritius. Dr McAreavey later celebrated her funeral.

In November 2012, Dr McAreavey took a temporary break from administering Dromore diocese. At said at the time he wanted to have a "period of personal renewal".

He added that Mrs McAreavey's murder had been particularly traumatic.

"The trauma of it all affected all of us. Those of us who were close to that tragedy were clearly affected by it," he said.

Dr McAreavey returned to administering the diocese in late 2013. Now, just weeks after revelations emerged about paedophile priest Malachy Finegan, Dr McAreavey has taken the decision to resign.

Read more: Bishop John McAreavey resigns after revelations he concelebrated Mass with paedophile priest

Bishop McAreavey was under pressure for several weeks

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Northern Ireland news