Eamon Martin

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Eamon Martin
Archbishop of Armagh
Primate of All Ireland
Appointed18 January 2013 (coadjutor)
Installed8 September 2014
PredecessorSeán Brady
Ordination28 June 1987
by Edward Daly
Consecration21 April 2013
by Seán Brady
Personal details
Born (1961-10-30) 30 October 1961 (age 57)
Derry, Northern Ireland
DenominationRoman Catholic
ResidenceAra Coeli, Armagh, Northern Ireland
ParentsJohn James Martin and Catherine Crossan
Alma materSt Patrick's College, Maynooth
Queen's University Belfast
Institute of Education
University of Cambridge
MottoCantate Canticum Novum
(Sing a new song)
Coat of armsEamon Martin's coat of arms

Eamon Martin (born 30 October 1961) is an Irish prelate of the Catholic Church who has been Archbishop of Armagh and the Primate of All Ireland since 2014.

Early life and education[edit]

Martin was born in Derry in 1961, one of 12 children.[1] After his primary school education in St Patrick's, Pennyburn, Derry, he entered St Columb's College. His priestly formation took place in St. Patrick's College, Maynooth where he graduated with a BD (Hons) in Theology and a BSc (Hons) in Mathematical Science from NUI Maynooth.

Ordained ministry[edit]

On 28 June 1987, Martin was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Derry.[2] After ordination he served as an associate pastor at the cathedral of the Diocese of Derry from 1987 until 1989.

He was then appointed to the teaching of St Columb's College in Derry where he worked from 1990 to 1998. Martin continued his studies at St Edmund's College, Cambridge from 1998–1999 where he obtained a MPhil in school development. From 1999 until 2008 he served as President of St Columb's College.

After this he served two years as Secretary-General of the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference before being recalled to his native diocese in 2010 to serve as Vicar General. When Bishop Séamus Hegarty resigned in November 2011, Archbishop Eamon Martin was elected as diocesan administrator. In 2011 he was appointed Chaplain of His Holiness.

Episcopal Ministry[edit]

Styles of
Eamon Martin
Coat of arms of Eamon Martin.svg
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Grace
Religious styleArchbishop

On 18 January 2013, Martin was appointed as the Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh.[2] Martin said he was shocked when told of the appointment. "I am very conscious of the great trust that the Holy Father has placed in me, but in truth I have to admit it was with considerable nervousness and trepidation that I accepted his call," he said.[3] Bishop Emeritus of Derry Edward Daly said that Martin was seen as "a clean pair of hands" after the church's abuse scandals. "He does not carry any baggage from the past with him," the bishop said.[1]

On 21 April 2013, Martin received his episcopal consecration from Archbishop Seán Brady.[4]

On 8 September 2014, with the retirement of Seán Brady, Martin became Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland. One press report at the time referred to Eamon Martin as a relative "unknown" in Rome with zero visibility in the Vatican.[5]

He is an Honorary Fellow of St Edmund's College, Cambridge.[6]



Martin said in an interview in 2013 that any legislator who clearly and publicly supports abortion should not seek to receive communion as legislators who support abortion are excommunicating themselves.[7]

Child abuse[edit]

In 2013, Martin addressed the abuse scandals that have been exposed over the last two decades. "One of the greatest challenges facing our Church is to acknowledge, live with, and learn from the past, including the terrible trauma caused by abuse," he said.[8]

Martin is also a director of the National Board for Safeguarding Children in the Catholic Church – the body set up in the wake of widespread clerical abuse scandals in Ireland. On his appointment, he said one of the greatest challenges facing the church was to live with and learn from the past. He told a press conference in Armagh that the church "can never take it for granted that the safeguarding systems we have in place are robust and failsafe, so we have to keep working on that".[9]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

Martin has said the Catholic Church felt a sense of "bereavement" following the result of the same-sex marriage referendum. The Vatican secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, called the result of the Irish same-sex marriage referendum a "defeat for humanity". Martin said the cardinal's comments expressed "our deeply held conviction about the meaning of marriage". "One of the difficulties of the debate was that we had two parallel discussions going on. One was about the meaning of marriage and the other was about respecting gay people and showing tolerance," he said. "I think what Cardinal Parolin was expressing was our deeply held conviction about the meaning of marriage," Martin said. "He said three things. He said, look, I'm saddened by the result which I think a lot of people in this country are also. He said this isn't just a defeat for Christian principles, it's a defeat for humanity. I think what he was trying to do was express the loss that has occurred here and we do feel it's a loss. Something very unique and precious has been lost. That's not in any way to say that there are not a lot of people who were very happy with the result, and we could see that on the night of the result."[10]

United Ireland[edit]

In 2016, Martin expressed his support for a united Ireland saying "I do believe that Ireland should be one and I would like to work for that, and continue to work for that, by peaceful means and by persuasion, recognising that there are many people on this island who do not want that." He also said "To the extent I think the border between Northern Ireland and the rest of Ireland has become increasingly less important, I would like to see that trend continuing."[11]


  1. ^ a b "Eamon Martin set to become head of Ireland's Catholics". BBC News. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Rinunce e nomine, 18.01.2013" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2019.
  3. ^ "Statement by Monsignor Eamon Martin on his appointment as Coadjutor Archbishop of Armagh". Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2017.
  4. ^ "Address from Coadjutor Archbishop Eamon Martin at the conclusion of his Episcopal Ordination". Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. 21 April 2013. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  5. ^ https://www.irishtimes.com/news/social-affairs/religion-and-beliefs/new-head-of-catholic-church-in-ireland-an-unknown-in-rome-1.1924139
  6. ^ "St Edmund's College - University of Cambridge". www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk. Retrieved 10 September 2018.
  7. ^ Larissa Nolan and Stephen O’Brien (19 May 2013). "Church warns pro-abortion TDs". Sunday Times. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  8. ^ Patsy McGarry (18 January 2013). "Eamon Martin to succeed Brady". Irish Times. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Monsignor Eamon Martin – profile". BBC News. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 26 May 2015.
  10. ^ Thompson, Sylvia (2 June 2015). "Catholic Church 'bereavement' after same-sex marriage vote". Irish Times. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  11. ^ Black, Rebecca; MacDonald, Sarah (27 May 2016). "Archbishop Martin calls for united Ireland". Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Seán Brady
Archbishop of Armagh
Order of precedence in Northern Ireland
Preceded by
Richard Clarke
Roman Catholic
Archbishop of Armagh
and Primate of All Ireland
Succeeded by
Diarmuid Martin