BISHOP Joseph Cassidy is to be installed as the new Archbishop of Tuam on October 18. Bishop Cassidy, who is 53, has been Bishop of Clonfert since 1982 and has also been the principal spokesman for the Irish Bishops' Conference for the last seven years.
His move means a transfer from Ireland's smallest diocese to one of the largest. While Bishop of Clonfert, he introduced the "Third World Farm" project at Lough Rea. In the project, 40 acres of diocesan land has been used to graze bullocks, and the profits gained from the herd at the end of every year is donated to someone working in the Third World. Each parish in the diocese paid for an animal, or granted the equivalent amount in cash.
Archbishop Cassidy is from Mayo, the only boy in a family of seven children. His father was the principal of the local national school, where Joseph Cassidy was educated before studying for the priesthood at Maynooth College.
He replaces Archbishop Cunnane, who retired in July due to poor health. After his appointment was announced, the archbishop said his priority would be to revitalise the faith and encourage the lay apostolate, and described the lay apostolate as "a sleeping giant which needs awakening."