The land at the Bishop’s Office on the Dublin Road, Mullingar. INSET: Bishop Tom Deenihan.

Diocese selling land to fund its activities

The Diocese of Meath is selling land it owns in Mullingar to fund its activities due to a decrease in contributions.

In a statement released this week, Bishop Tom Deenihan said that “while regrettable”, the decision to sell some of the land surrounding the Bishop’s Office on the Dublin Road “was prudent at this time”.

Bishop Deenihan said that the diocese is “substantially funded” from contributions from parishes, which experienced a reduction in income during the pandemic, a reduction that, he says, is likely to continue.

While the diocese has reduced the levy on parishes to support the diocese by 50 percent during the pandemic, parishes cannot afford a return to the former rates, he said.

Bishop Deenihan said that while contributions are necessary for the survival of local parishes and the diocese itself, the diocese must also be prepared to use its own assets to fund its activities.

Realistically, he said, the diocese was not utilising the land on Dublin Road and while it “provided an attractive landscape to the office”, it was ultimately property for the mission of the diocese and should now be used to fund those activities.

The Church, the bishop said, had to use its own assets as well as relying on donations from the faithful.

Bishop Deenihan also revealed that the funds generated through the sale of the land will be used to employ a “faith development person”, who will work with parishes in the years ahead.

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