Denis Brennan

Denis Brennan (born June 20 1945) in Enniscorthy, County Wexford) is an Irish Catholic bishop. He has been Bishop of Ferns since April 23 2006. He is the first native of Wexford to have risen to be a bishop in almost 70 years.


He received his primary education in Kiltealy National School, and his secondary education in St Peter’s College, Wexford. He then entered St Peter’s Seminary and was ordained at St Peter’s College on May 31 1970. In September that year he became a member of the Missionaries of the Blessed Sacrament at the House of Missions, Enniscorthy, and conducted missions and retreats in Ireland, Britain and Newfoundland. He was the last Superior of the House of Missions before its closure in 1992. He was Administrator of St Senan’s Parish, Templeshannon, from December 1986, and was appointed parish priest of Taghmon in March 1997. Since then he served as Vicar Forane for the Wexford deanery and as the diocesan delegate charged with child protection, and was a member of the diocesan Council of Priests.

Bishop Brennan's Coat of Arms

The shield is divided per chevron gold and black. The gold field is sown with crosses which are in purple. These tinctures are a reference to the traditional colours of the county of Wexford, wherein lies most of the diocese of Ferns. The crosses reflect the sowing of the seeds of the gospel, a reference to the new Bishop’s time as a member of the House of Missions, Enniscorthy. The lower part of the shield is black and is in the shape of an inverted V. This is a reference to the Blackstairs Mountains, one of the most familiar boundaries of the Diocese and the home area of the new Bishop. The gold torch refers to the Hook Lighthouse at the southern end of the Diocese, the torch is used to illustrate the function of a lighthouse as a beacon shining in the night. The torch and the black field can also reflect John 1:5......’a light that shines in the dark, a light that darkness could not overpower.’

A Stabilizing Force

Bishop Drennan was the current diocesan delegate for child protection and previously Vicar Forane for the Wexford Deanery. Bishop Drennan has been a stabilising force in the diocese in the aftermath of the disclosures of 100 episodes of child sexual abuse as described in The Ferns Report which occurred during the tenure of his predecessors Bishop Donal Herlihy and Brendan Comiskey.

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