Arms of the Bishops of Connor

The Bishop of Connor is an episcopal title which takes its name after the village of Connor in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The title is currently used by the Church of Ireland, but in the Roman Catholic Church it has been united with another bishopric.


The diocese of Connor was one of the twenty-four dioceses established at the Synod of Rathbreasail in 1111.[1] It is located in the northeast corner of the Ireland and includes much of the city of Belfast. By some of the Irish annalists it was called by its territorial name The See of Dalaradia.[2]:245

For a brief period in the early 12th-century, the see of Connor was united with Down under Máel Máedóc Ua Morgair (Saint Malachy), who also was Archbishop of Armagh.[1] On 29 July 1439, plans for a permanent union of the two sees were submitted to King Henry VI of England for his sanction.[3]:344, 348 Exactly twelve months later, 29 July 1439, Pope Eugene IV issued a papal bull stating that Down and Connor were to be united on the death or resignation of either bishop.[3]:344, 348 In 1442, John Sely, Bishop of Down, was deprived of his see by Pope Eugene IV,[4][5] thereby effecting the union of the two dioceses. John Fossade, who had been bishop of Connor since 1431, became the bishop of the united see of Down and Connor in late 1442.[3]:344, 348 However, due to strong opposition to the union in the diocese of Down, three more bishops of Down were appointed before the two sees finally united.[3]:344, 348

After the Reformation, the united see of Down and Connor had parallel episcopal successions. In the Roman Catholic Church, they still remain united to the present today. In the Church of Ireland, Down and Connor were united further with Dromore in 1842 to form the bishopric of Down, Connor and Dromore. They continued until 1945 when they were separated into the bishopric of Down and Dromore and the bishopric of Connor.

Present bishopEdit

The current incumbent is the Right Reverend Alan Abernethy, Bishop of the Church of Ireland Diocese of Connor, who was consecrated on 29 June 2007 at St Anne's Cathedral, Belfast, and enthroned there on 6 September 2007.[6] The bishop's official residence is in South Belfast.[7]

List of bishopsEdit

Pre-Reformation bishopsEdit

Pre-Reformation Bishops of Connor
From Until Incumbent Notes
unknown 1117 Flann Ua Sculu Died in office.
1117 1124 See vacant
1124 c. 1136/37 Saint Malachy Irish: Máel Máedóc Ua Morgair; Saint Malachias; also Bishop of Down from 1124 and Archbishop of Armagh from 1132; resigned Armagh and Connor, but retained Down until his death on 2 November 1148.
1137/38 bef. 1152 See vacant
bef. 1152 bef. 1172 Máel Pátraic Ua Bánáin Present at the Synod of Kells in March 1152; resigned; died 1174.
bef. 1172 bef. 1178 Nehemias Died in office.
c. 1178 1225 Reginaldus Died after 19 April 1225.
1226 1241 Eustacius Eustace; previously Archdeacon of Connor; elected bishop in 1226 and received possession of the temporalities 5 May 1226; died before October 1241.
1242 1244 Adam OCist Previously Abbot of Wardon Abbey; elected bishop in 1242 and received possession of the temporalities 27 January 1242; consecrated in September 1242; died 7 November 1244 and was buried in Wardon Abbey.
1245 1256 Isaac of Newcastle Elected before 4 April 1245 and received possession of the temporalities 8 May 1245; died circa 6 October 1256.
1257 1260 William of Portroyal OSB Appointed 27 October 1257 and received possession of the temporalities 7 January 1258; died before 16 July 1260.
1260 1262 William de la Hay Elected 10 October 1260; consecrated and received possession of the temporalities after 21 March 1261; acted as a suffragan bishop in the diocese of Lincoln in 1262; died before 25 December 1262.
1263 1274 Robert of Flanders Elected 3 February 1263 and received possession of the temporalities after that date; died 25 November 1274; also known as Robert le Fleming or Flandrensis.
1275 1292 Petrus de Dunach Peter of Dovenach or Donach; elected before 2 March 1275; died before January 1292.
1292 1319 Johannes John; elected before 23 January 1292 and received possession of the temporalities 27 April 1293; died c. 1319.
c. 1320 unknown Richard Elected circa 1320.
1321 James of Couplith Elected before 26 July 1321, but did not get possession of the see.
1323 John de Egglescliffe OP Translated from Glasgow before 5 March 1323, but did not get possession of the see; translated to Llandaff 20 June 1323.
1323 1324 Robert Wirsop OESA Translated from Ardagh on 20 June 1323; died before May 1324.
1324 1351 Jacobus Ó Cethernaig James O'Kearney; translated from Annaghdown between 7 and 15 May 1324; received possession of the temporalities 22 December 1324; died 1351.
1353 1374 William Mercier Previously Archdeacon of Kildare; appointed bishop 8 July and consecrated after 12 August 1353; received possession of the temporalities 2 November 1353; died in office.
1374 1389 Paulus Appointed 11 December 1374 and received possession of the temporalities 10 May 1376; died in office.
1389 c. 1416 Johannes Elected before 29 March 1389 and received possession of the temporalities 23 July 1389; appointed 9 November 1389; died in office.
1420 1421 Seaán Ó Luachráin Appointed 22 May 1420; died before February 1421.
1421 1429 Eóghan Ó Domhnaill Appointed 5 May 1421 and consecrated after June 1422; translated to Derry on 9 December 1429.
1429 1431 Domhnaill Ó Mearaich Translated from Derry 9 December 1429; died in office on 28 January 1431.
1431 1442 John Fossade John Festade; appointed 28 January and consecrated after 2 June 1431; became Bishop of Down and Connor in late 1442, although did not gain full control; died in the spring of 1450.
After the union of Down and Connor, there were two further bishops of Connor. Their position is uncertain – they may have been suffragan or titular bishops.
1459 Patricius He is said to have died before his letters of appointment were drawn up in 1459.
1459 1481 Simon Elvington OP Appointed by Pope Pius II on 12 February 1459; acted as a suffragan bishop in the dioceses of Salisbury and Exeter 1459–1481; died in office.

Church of Ireland bishopsEdit

Church of Ireland Bishops of Connor
From Until Incumbent Notes
1945 1956 Charles King Irwin Elected and confirmed Bishop of Down, Connor and Dromore in 1942; relinquished Down and Dromore on 31 December 1944/1 January 1945, but retained Connor; resigned on 31 May 1956; died 15 January 1960.
1956 1969 Cyril Elliott Elected 28 June and consecrated 21 September 1956; resigned on 31 August 1969; died 3 April 1977.
1969 1981 Arthur Butler Translated from Tuam, Killala and Achonry; elected 16 September and confirmed 14 October 1969; resigned on 30 September 1981.
1981 1987 William John McCappin Elected 28 October and consecrated 30 November 1981; retired; died 3 July 1992.
1987 1995 Samuel Poyntz Translated from Cork, Cloyne and Ross; elected and confirmed in 1987; retired on 10 March 1995.
1995 2001 Jimmy Moore Elected 31 March and consecrated 25 May 1995; retired; died 16 March 2005.
2002 2007 Alan Harper Elected 17 December 2001 and consecrated 18 March 2002; translated to Armagh on 16 March 2007.
2007 present Alan Abernethy Appointed 17 April,[8] consecrated 29 June,[9] and enthroned 6 September 2007.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b How was the Diocese of Connor created? Archived 20 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. Church of Ireland Diocese of Connor. Retrieved on 27 August 2009.
  2. ^ a b Cotton, Henry (1849). The Succession of the Prelates and Members of the Cathedral Bodies of Ireland. Fasti ecclesiae Hiberniae. Vol. 3, The Province of Ulster. Dublin: Hodges and Smith.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Fryde, E. B.; Greenway, D. E.; Porter, S.; Roy, I. (1986). Handbook of British Chronology (3rd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X.
  4. ^ Kilclief Castle. Irish Antiquities. Retrieved on 25 August 2009.
  5. ^ Kilclief Castle, County of Down. Library Ireland. Retrieved on 25 August 2009.
  6. ^ a b Bishop's Page Archived 25 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Church of Ireland Diocese of Connor. Retrieved on 27 August 2009.
  7. ^ Church of Ireland Directory
  8. ^ Bishops appoint the Reverend Canon Alan Abernethy as new Bishop of Connor. Church of Ireland. Dated 17 April 2007.
  9. ^ Sermon at the Consecration of the Revd Canon Alan Abernethy as the Bishop of Connor. Church of Ireland. Dated 29 June 2007.
  10. ^ Bishops Of Connor. Church of Ireland Diocese of Connor. Retrieved on 27 August 2009.

External linksEdit