By Dan Walsh
Major clerical changes are imminent in Wexford Parish following today’s announcement that Fr Billy Swan, who is curate at St. Aidan’s Cathedral, Enniscorthy, is appointed Administrator in place of Fr. Aodhan Marken who becomes parish priest in Piercestown succeeding Fr. John O’Reilly, who is retiring.
Fr Billy Swan, who is a native of Glynn, was ordained in 1998 and served as a curate in New Ross and Enniscorthy. Fr Swan also spent four years in the Pontifical Irish College in Rome.
Fr Marken has spent all of his 26 years of ministry in Wexford Parish and is one of the best-known priests in the diocese and renowned for his participation in the annual Christmas Fast (with Canon Arthur Minion) which has raised hundreds of thousands of euro for charitable causes over many years.
Fr John O’Reilly, a native of Enniscorthy, was chaplain to Wexford County Hospital, 1979-1985, was curate in Rosslare and Gorey, and served in The Gambia, Africa, on missionary work in 1995. He has been parish priest of Piercestown since 2009.
Fr Jim Doyle, curate at Mulrankin, succeeds Fr Swan at St. Aidan’s Parish, Enniscorthy. Fr Doyle grew up in Murrintown and was the first priest in the Diocese of Ferns to be ordained by Bishop Denis Brennan. He served in Bunclody, and Mulrankin since 2014.
Fr. Chris Hayden, currently on sabbatical, is to undertake the role of chaplain and part time lecturer at Providence University, (Great Falls, Montana, U.S.) for one year, commencing September 2021.
The Bishop of Ferns, Dr Denis Brennan, has approved the latest clerical changes, effective on the weekend 13th/14th February.