New Derry bishop ‘energised’ by challenge

Bishop Donal McKeown announced as new bishop

Bishop Donal McKeown is energised and up for the challenge in the Derry diocese after being appointed by Pope Francis as the new bishop there.

Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Down and Connor since 2001, the 63-year-old Antrim-native was confirmed in the role following an announcement in St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry City this week.

Speaking at St Eugene’s, Bishop McKeown said: “I believe that this is an exciting time to witness to, and speak the Gospel, into the Church and into civic life.”


“The Church on this island is experiencing many difficulties. But the Scriptures are clear that a humbled contrite heart is much more open to God than a proud and powerful one.

“I look forward to working with people of faith and people of doubt within this wonderful and historic diocese, so that together we can generate hope for our young people. I feel energised by this challenge.”

“I look forward to working with you as we remember the past and confidently face the future with Christ as our constant friend and guide.”

Born in 1950, Donal McKeown was ordained to the priesthood on July 3, 1977. He became Auxiliary Bishop of Down & Connor February 21, 2001 and ordained as a bishop on April 29, 2001.

He is a member of the Episcopal Commission for Worship, Pastoral Renewal and Faith development, a member of the Council for Clergy, chairman of the Council for Vocations, Member of the Council for Pastoral Renewal and Adult Faith Development, and a member of the Council for Education.