Antrim native the new bishop of Raphoe

A Jesuit priest, Fr Alan McGuckian, is to be the new bishop of the Catholic diocese of Raphoe, which covers most of County Donegal.

He will succeed Bishop Philip Boyce, who has served as head of the diocese for more than 20 years.

Father Alan McGuckian was born in 1953, the youngest of six children of the late Brian and Pauline McGuckian in Cloughmills, Co Antrim.

Two of his brothers, Fathers Bernard and Michael are also Jesuit priests.

In October 1972 he joined the Jesuit novitiate in Clontarf in Dublin.

After ordination to the priesthood in 1984, Father McGuckian worked in secondary education for four years in Clongowes Wood College, in Kildare.

After that came a six month period of spiritual renewal in southern India and an experience of serving in a shanty town in Quezon City in the Philippines.

In the 1990s Father McGuckian ran the Jesuit Communication Centre in Dublin.

For the last six years Father McGuckian has worked closely with the Diocese of Down and Connor in a project aimed to hear the hopes and fears of the priests, religious and the lay faithful in all 87 parishes there.

Tributes are also being paid today to outgoing Bishop Philip Boyce, with the Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop Eamon Martin, thaking him for his dedication, support and generosity..