Dermot Farrell was born in 1954, the eldest of seven children of Carmel and the late Dermot Farrell, in Garthy, Castletown-Geoghegan, Co. Westmeath.
Bishop Dermot attended school in Castletown-Geoghegan, Streamstown and St Finian’s College, Mullingar. In September 1972 he entered the National Seminary at Maynooth where he obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1976. His formation for the priesthood also involved the study of Philosophy and he was awarded a Bachelor in Divinity Degree in 1979. Following a two-year period of study he was conferred by the Pontifical University, Maynooth, with Licence in Theology in 1981.
Having completed his studies Bishop Dermot was appointed as Curate in the Cathedral Parish of Christ the King, Mullingar. In 1985 he was sent to Rome to study for a Doctorate in Theology at the Gregorian University. In 1988 he was awarded a Doctoral Degree the title of his thesis being: “The Dogmatic Foundations of Bernard Häring’s Thought on Christian Morality as a Sacramental Way of Life.” During his final year in Rome he also served as a Director of Formation in the Pontifical Irish College, Rome.
Following his return from Rome he was appointed a Curate in Tullamore Parish in 1988 and lectured part-time in Moral Theology at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. In 1990 he was appointed Executive Assistant to the President of Maynooth College and Director of the one-year Religious Studies Programme and a member of the Faculty of Theology. In 1993 he was appointed Vice-President of St Patrick’s College, Maynooth; and in 1996 he was appointed President of the College.
In 1997 he was named as an Honorary Prelate of his Holiness. Since September 2007 he served as Parish Priest of Dunboyne and Kilbride Parish and was appointed Vicar General of the Diocese in 2009.
Bishop Dermot has also served extensively on various Boards and Committees, such as: the Board of Allianz plc for fifteen years; the Governing Body of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth; the Theological Department Irish Inter-Church Committee; Dunboyne Community Centre; and as National Director of the Permanent Diaconate for ten years.
His appointment as Bishop of Ossory by Pope Francis was announced on 3rd January 2018. The Episcopal Ordination of Bishop Dermot Farrell for the Diocese of Ossory was 11th March 2018.
Bishop Farrell’s episcopal motto “Adiutorium nostrum in nomine Domini” is taken from Psalm 124. This psalm is a meditation on the mystery of God as expressed in God’s name YHWH, the name we dare not utter. The God who reveals himself in the Scriptures lives out his divinity by showing himself to be a rescuer in and from death: God is God-for-us (Rom 8:31) and God-with-us (Matt 1:23). Rooted in the present, Psalm 124 extends our trust in the saving presence of God far into the future. The Christian is called to trust the One who created everyone, and in whose mercy we are brought to life (John 3:15-17). Everything is in God’s hands. In the words of Saint Teresa of Avila: Dios sola basta — God alone suffices.