Bishop Niall Coll, Bishop of Ossory

Niall Coll was born in 1963, the eldest of four children, to Willie and Kathleen Coll, St Johnston, Co. Donegal.

Niall attended St Baithin’s NS, St Johnston and St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny. In September 1981 he entered the National Seminary at Maynooth to begin his formation for the priesthood. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Geography in 1984 and a Bachelor in Divinity in 1987. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Seamus Hegarty for the Diocese of Raphoe in 1988. Following a two-year period of post-graduate study in Rome he was conferred with a Licence in Theology by the Gregorian University.

Having completed his studies Father Niall was appointed to St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny in 1989, as chaplain and teacher. Three years later he obtained a Higher Diploma in Education from Trinity College, Dublin. In 1992 he was sent to Rome to study for a Doctorate in Theology at the Gregorian University. In 1995 he was awarded a Doctoral Degree for a thesis in Christology which was later published as Christ in Eternity and Time: Contemporary Anglican Perspectives (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2001). 

Following his return from Rome in 1995 he was appointed as a lecturer in Systematic Theology in St Patrick’s College, Carlow. Three years later he returned to Raphoe Diocese as both chaplain in Pobalscoil na Rossan and curate in the parish of Dungloe. In 2001 he was appointed as Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies and Religious Education at St Mary’s University College, Belfast (a college of Queen’s University, Belfast).

In 2020, at the height of the Covid 19 pandemic, he returned to the Raphoe Diocese as parish priest of Drumholm (Ballintra and Laghey) and a year later was transferred to the neighbouring parish of Tawnawilly (Donegal Town and Clar).

Bishop Niall is editor (with Paschal Scallon CM) of A Church with a Future: Challenges to Irish Catholicism Today (Dublin: Columba Press, 2005) and also of Ireland and Vatican II: Essays Theological, Pastoral and Educational (Dublin: Columba Press, 2015). He was for many years editor of Le Chéile: A Catholic Schools Ethos Journal published by St Mary’s University College which sought to promote the values and work of Catholic education locally. He is a member of the Irish Inter-Church Committee. 

His appointment as Bishop of Ossory by Pope Francis was announced on October 28th, 2022. Bishop Niall was ordained as the 96th Bishop of Ossory on 22nd January 2023 by Archbishop Dermot Farrell, who himself had served as Bishop of Ossory.

Bishops of Ossory

Commemorative Plaque of the Bishops in St Mary’s Cathedral

On Sunday 22nd January Bishop Niall Coll was ordained as the 96th Bishop of Ossory.

The following is a list of all those who proceeded him.

Dermot Farrell2018 to 2020

St   KieranMarch 5
St  CarthageMarch 5
St   MedranJune 8
St  SednaMarch 10
St  MuccineMarch 4
St MomaedhocFeb 16
St Aengus LamoidanFeb 16
St LachtinMarch 19
St Colman UA EircApril 22
St CuillenApril 22
St BochonnaJan 13
St Finnech DuirnFeb 2
St EochanApril 18
St Killene Mac LubneDeparted              A.D.         696
Laidhgnen Mac DoinlanachDeparted              A.D.         739
TnuthgallDeparted              A.D.         771
MocoachDeparted              A.D.         788
CucathrachDeparted              A.D.         793
CothachDeparted             A.D.         812
FereoachDeparted              A.D.         814
ConchobharDeparted              A.D.         815
Conmhach UA LoicheneDeparted              A.D.         826
InchalachDeparted              A.D.         832
AnluanDeparted              A.D.         846
Cormac Mac EladhachDeparted              A.D.         867
CeranDeparted              A.D.         868
SloidhedhachDeparted              A.D.         885
CormacDeparted              A.D.         907
FearchalDeparted              A.D.         919
FochartachDeparted              A.D.         941
ColmanDeparted              A.D.         948
ConfoeladDeparted              A.D.         951
DonchadhDeparted              A.D.         971
FochartachDeparted              A.D.         1004
Donchad UA CelieachairDeparted              A.D.         1048
ComhoranDeparted              A.D.         1066
Ceallack ReamharDeparted              A.D.         1079
Ceallack UA CaonhoranDeparted              A.D.         1108
DonaldDeparted              A.D.         1152
Donat O FocharthachDeparted              A.D.         1178
Felix O’DullanyDeparted              A.D.         1202
Hugh De RousDeparted              A.D.         1218
Peter HalveisinDeparted              A.D.         1231
Walter of BrackleyDeparted              A.D.         1243
Geoffrey De TurvilleDeparted              A.D.         1250
Hugh De MapiltonDeparted              A.D.         1258
HughDeparted              A.D.         1260
Geoffrey St LegerDeparted              A.D.         1287
Roger of WexfordDeparted              A.D.         1289
Michael of ExeterDeparted              A.D.         1302
William Fitz JohnDeparted              A.D.         1317
Richard LedredDeparted              A.D.         1360
JohnDeparted              A.D.         1365
WilliamDeparted              A.D.         1369
John of TatenaleDeparted              A.D.         1370
Alexander PetitDeparted              A.D.         1386
Richard NorthalisDeparted              A.D.         1395
Thomas PeverellDeparted              A.D.         1398
John WalthanDeparted              A.D.         1399
John GriffinDeparted              A.D.         1400
JohnDeparted              A.D.         1400
Roger De ApplebyDeparted              A.D.         1404
JohnDeparted              A.D.         1405
Thomas SnellDeparted              A.D.         1416
Patrick RaggedDeparted              A.D.         1421
Denis O DeaDeparted              A.D.         1427
Thomas BarryDeparted              A.D.         1460
David HackettDeparted              A.D.         1471
John O’HedaynDeparted              A.D.         1487
Oliver CantwellDeparted              A.D.         1527
Milo BaronDeparted              A.D.         1550
John O’ThonoryDeparted              A.D.         1565
Thomas StrongDeparted              A.D.         1601
David RotheDeparted              A.D.         1650
James O’PhelanDeparted              A.D.         1695
William DatonDeparted              A.D.         1712
Malachy DulanyDeparted              A.D.         1731
Patrick O’SheaDeparted              A.D.         1736
Colman O’ShaugnessyDeparted              A.D.         1748
James DunneDeparted              A.D.         1758
Thomas De BurcoDeparted              A.D.         1776
John Thomas TroyDeparted              A.D.         1786
John DunneDeparted              A.D.         1789
James LaniganDeparted              A.D.         1812
Kyran MarumDeparted              A.D.         1827
William KinsellaDeparted              A.D.         1845
Edward WalshDeparted              A.D.         1872
Patrick Francis MoranDeparted              A.D.         1884
Abraham Brownrigg1884 to 1923
James Downey1922 to 1927
Patrick Collier1928 to 1964
Peter Birch1964 to 1981
Laurence Forristal1981 to 2007
Seamus Freeman2007 to 2016
Dermot Farrell2018 to 2020
Niall Coll2023 –

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