Diocesan History

In 1976, the Dioceses of Meath and Kildare were united (Kildare Diocese having for the previous century and a quarter been united with the neighbouring Dioceses of Dublin and Glendalough), but Meath and Kildare each have impressive histories stretching back to the early centuries of Christianity.

Making up a number of the oldest dioceses in the early Irish Church including Kells, Clonard and Duleek, the Diocese of Meath was one of the Cuig Cuige in ancient Ireland and was a province in its own right. The Boyne valley in the centre of Meath Diocese features centrally in the mission of St Patrick to Ireland. (Newgrange, one of the most significant pre-Christian religious sites in Europe, is part of the tourist trail to this day.)

Clonmacnoise was one of the monastic centres of the country, set at the place where the ancient east-west road across the country met the River Shannon running south. It remains very much part of the spiritual life of the Dioceses. Kells in the Diocese of Meath has given its name to the greatest illuminated manuscript of the Irish Church – the Book of Kells.   Kildare was the setting of the ministry of St Brigid. Indeed Kildare was one of the few places where, in the early centuries of the Christian faith in Ireland, the bishop was under the firm jurisdiction of a woman! Kildare has also a fine Cathedral – St Brigid’s Cathedral, mediaeval in origin and fully restored in the late nineteenth century with a further major restoration at the end of the twentieth century. Proud as we rightly are of our past, the Christian Gospel is also about the present and what Jesus Christ wills for us today.


Full History of Bishops

2013 – Patricia Storey

1996 – Richard Lionel Clarke
(Armagh 2012)

1985 Walton Newcombe Francis Empey
(Dublin 1996)

1976 Donald Arthur Richard Caird
(Dublin 1985)

By act of the General Synod of the Church of Ireland in 1976, Meath was transferred from the Province of Armagh to Dublin. Kildare diocese was separated from Dublin and Glendalough and the new Diocese of Meath and Kildare was formed.


1152 Eleutherius O’Meehan
1174 Eugene
1194 Simon de Rochfort
1224 Sedates (not consecrated)
1227 Ralph le Petit
1232 Richard de la Corner (Nangle)
1250 Geoffrey Cusack
1255 Hugh de Taghmon
1287 Thomas St Leger
1321 John O’Carroll (Cashel 1327)
1327 William de Paul
1350 William St Lefer
1353 Nicholas Allen
1369 Stephen de Valle
1380 William Andrew
1386 Alexander Petit
1402 Robert Mountain
1413 Edward Dantsey
1430 William Hadsor
1434 William Silk
1450 Edward Ouldhall
1460 William Sherwood
1483 John Payn
1507 William Rokeby (Dublin 1512)
1512 Hugh Inge (Dublin 1523)
1523 Richard Wilson
1530 Edward Staples
1554 William Walsh (deposed 1560)
1563 Hugh Brady
1584 Thomas Jones
1605 Roger Dod
1611 George Montgomery
1621 James Ussher (Armagh 1625)
1625 Anthony Martin
1660 Henry Leslie
1661 Henry Jones
1682 Anthony Dopping
1705 William Moreton
1716 John Evans
1724 Henry Downes (Derry 1627)
1727 Ralph Lambert
1732 Welbore Ellis
1734 Arthur Price (Cashel 1744)
1744 Henry Maule
1758 William Carmichael
1765 Richard Peacocke
1765 Arthur Smyth (Dublin 1766)
1766 Henry Maxwell
1798 Thomas Lewis O’Byrne
1823 Nathaniel Alexander
1840 Charles Dickenson
1842 Edward Adderly Stopford
1850 Thomas Stewart Townsend
1852 James Henderson Singer
1866 Samuel Singer
1876 William Connyngham Plunkett (Dublin 1885)
1885 Charles Parsons Reichel
1894 Joseph Ferguson Peacocke (Dublin 1897)
1919 Benjamin John Plunkett
1926 Thomas Gibson George Collins
1927 John Orr
1938 William Hardy Holmes
1945 James McCann (Armagh 1958)
1958 Robert Bonsall Pike


1152 Finn O’Gorman
1177 Nehemiah
1206 Cornelius MacGelain
1223 Ralph of Bristol
1232 John of Taunton
1258 Simon of Kilkenny
1280 Nicholas Cusack
1300 Nicholas Calf
1333 Richard Howlot
1353 Thomas Giffard
1366 Robert of Aketone
1404 John Madock
1431 William Edward
1449 Geoffrey Atherford
1464 Richard Lang
1474 David
1475 James Wal
1475 Edward Audley (Rochester 1480)
1480 Edward Lane
1526 Thomas Dillon
1529 Walter Wellesley
1540 William Maigh
1550 Thomas Lancaster (deposed 1555)
1555 Thomas Leverous (deposed 1560)
1564 Robert Dale (Daly)
1583 Daniel or Donnell O’NNeilan
1604 William Pilsworth
1636 Robert Usher
1644 William Gilborne
1661 Thomas Price (Cashel 1667)
1679 Anthony Dopping (Meath 1682)
1682 William Moreton (Meath 1705)
1705 Welbore Ellis (Meath 1732)
1731 Charles Cobbe (Dublin 1743)
1743 George Stone (Derry 1745)
1745 Thomas Fletcher
1761 Richard Robinson (Armagh 1765)
1765 Charles Jackson
1790 George Lewis Jones
1804 Charles Lindsay
   On his death, in 1846, Kildare Diocese was united with Dublin, in accordance with the Church Temporalities Act of 1833
1846 Richard Whately
1864 Richard Chenevix Trench
1885 William Connyngham Plunket
1897 Joseph Ferguson Peacocke
1915 John Henry Bernard
1919 Charles Frederick D’Arcy (Armagh 1920)
1920 John Allen Gregg (Armagh 1939)
1939 Arthur William Barton
1956 George Otto Simms (Armagh 1968)
1968 Alan Alexander Buchanan