Croagh native Fr Seamus Madigan has been appointed head chaplain to the Irish Defence Forces.
His appointment follows nine years as chaplain at Sarsfield Barracks in Limerick.
In that time he has served on overseas missions in Kosovo, Chad and the Lebanon as well as providing pastoral care and spiritual support to Defence Forces members in Limerick.
Fr Seamus said is was “a great honour” to be appointed to the new role, where he will head up a team of 14 chaplains.
“It is a big move, but it is a great opportunity too,” said Fr Seamus, who will be based at Defence Forces headquarters in McKee Barracks in Dublin.
“I will be quite involved with the 1916 centenary celebrations and it will be a wonderful honour to be in the centre of that,” he added.
Fr Seamus’ mother Kathleen and six of his seven siblings still live in the Croagh area.
The Bishop of Limerick Brendan Leahy welcomed the appointment, commenting that the Irish Defence Forces will have a “great source of pastoral care and spiritual support” with the appointment of Fr Madigan as its head chaplain.
Congratulating Fr Seamus on his appointment, Bishop Leahy said: “Seamus has been a very popular chaplain in Sarsfield Barracks both in his duties here and during his service abroad with the peace-keeping operations.
“He will now take his strong and caring pastoral role and spiritual support to the national post and we wish him well in this.
“We will miss him but, at least, we know he will also have contact with Limerick in his new role and look forward to meeting him through that,” Bishop Leahy added.
Fr Seamus was ordained at his local Church in Croagh, in 1991 for the Society of St Francis de Sales (Salesian).
He was incardinated into the Diocese of Limerick in 2003 when he was appointed as chaplain in Castletroy Community College, a post he held until taking up the post at Sarsfield Barracks.
He also served as diocesan communications officer for a period until 2007 and presented a show on Live 95FM and West Limerick 102FM local radio stations.