THE Diocese of Limerick has spent well in excess of €300,000 purchasing a house in Castletroy for its former bishop Dr Donal Murray, the Limerick Leader has learned.
A spokesman confirmed the transaction, saying the diocese had “obligations” in canon law to care for all its clergy – even if retired. It is understood that the neighbouring diocese of Killaloe has also recently purchased a house in Ennis for its retired bishop Dr Willie Walsh.
Houses in the Castleville area of Castletroy, near the Golf Links Road, fetched over €500,000 at the height of the property bubble. But it is understood that the diocese has spent around €200,000 less than the peak price on a three-bedroom family home, which was built in the 1970s, for Dr Murray.
Dr Murray traded down in 2007, moving into a new house in the Annacotty area after the diocese sold the former Bishop’s Palace - Kilmoyle House on the North Circular Road - to property investor Aidan Brooks for €26 million.
The property in Annacotty, for which the diocese paid €700,000, will be home to the new Bishop of Limerick whenever the Vatican approves that appointment.
“The Diocese of Limerick, in accordance with its canon law obligation to look after the wellbeing of all its clergy, retired and active, has purchased a property in Castletroy that our former Bishop Donal Murray will reside in, having vacated the diocesan bishop’s residence, nearby in Annacotty,” a spokesman for the diocese said.