The church’s smallest diocese, the United Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry would be merged into the neighboring dioceses of Kilmore and Limerick.
The Archbishops of Dublin and Armagh have endorsed plans to reduce the Church of Ireland’s dioceses from twelve to eleven. Under proposals put forward last month by members of the Commission on Episcopal Ministry and Structures the church’s smallest diocese, the United Diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry would be merged into the neighboring dioceses of Kilmore and Limerick. The united diocese of Tuam, Killala and Achonry covers all of County Mayo, much of Counties Galway and Sligo and a small portion of County Roscommon. Geographically it forms one of the largest dioceses in the Church of Ireland but numerically is the smallest with fewer than two thousand parishioners spread across nine parochial cures of thirty churches. The plan calls for the seven cures of Tuam and Killala to join with the Dioceses of Limerick and Killaloe (17 cures) to form a new diocese in the West, with its Bishop to be based in Limerick, while Achonry (2 cures) would join with the Dioceses of Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh (23 cures). The amalgamation would occur upon the retirement of the present incumbents of either diocese. The rationalization plan also calls for six cures from the Diocese of Glendalough in the United Diocese of Dublin and Glendalough (currently 56 cures) to the Diocese of Kildare (Meath and Kildare currently 17 cures). The Primate of All Ireland, the Most Rev. Richard Clarke, Archbishop of Armagh, and the Primate of Ireland, the Most Rev. Michael Jackson, Archbishop of Dublin, have endorsed the proposals. According to a statement released by the commission the proposals were designed to strengthen “the three numerically smallest dioceses in the Church. They enable Tuam and Killala and Achonry to become part of larger unions and they give support to Limerick and Killaloe, Kilmore, Elphin and Ardagh and Meath and Kildare. They help redistribute workloads.” Archbishop Jackson has called a special meeting of the Dublin synod for 20 April 2016, while a final decision will be made by this year’s meeting of the Church of Ireland’s General Synod.