The Bishop of Ossory Dermot Farrell has been appointed as the new Archbishop of Dublin.
He succeeds Diarmuid Martin, whose retirement request has been accepted by Pope Francis.
Archbishop Martin celebrated his 75th birthday earlier this year and, under Vatican rules, members of the clergy must offer to resign when they reach that age.
Archbishop-elect Farrell was born in Co Westmeath and was ordained a priest in 1980.
He went on to complete his doctorate at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and served as the vice president of St Patrick's College in Maynooth from 1993 to 1996.
Dr Farrell was promoted to president of St Patrick's in 1996 and stayed in that role until 2007.
He was appointed as the Bishop of Ossory by Pope Francis in 2018.
"As I take up this responsibility to be pastor and a teacher of the faith among you, I place my trust anew in God’s goodness, and in God’s providence out into the future. As we all learn in the end, everything is in God’s hands."
- Bishop Dermot Farrell pic.twitter.com/UZMUo2MtgR
— CatholicBishops (@CatholicBishops) December 29, 2020
Speaking on The Hard Shoulder today, Dr Farrell said he was told of the news of his appointment as the new Archbishop of Dublin before Christmas directly from the Vatican.
He said he wasn't expecting the announcement and it was "the last thing in the world" he thought would happen.
The provisional start date for his new role is February 2nd, with a ceremony celebrating his appointment dependent on COVID-19 restrictions.
Archbishop-elect Farrell said: "Taking over a Diocese the size of Dublin which is 197 parishes...is a daunting prospect in itself.
"The good thing about it is that there are great faith communities up and down every parish of this Diocese, urban and rural."