About our community

The Order of Preachers

Latin translation is Ordo Praedicatorum, hence the abbreviation OP used by members, more commonly known after the 15th century as the Dominican Order or Dominicans.It is a Roman Catholic religious order founded by the Spanish priest Saint Dominic de Guzman in France, and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216.

We are part of the wider Dominican Order. Click here and here for more detailed information.

The Newry Priory is lead by Fr. David Tohill OP (Prior) and the community are

Fr Joseph Ralph OP

Fr. Stephen Tumilty OP

Fr.Cesare Decio OP

Fr. Noel McKeown OP

Fr. Adrian Farrelly O.P.

Bro. Mark McGreevy OP

Fr David Tohill OP Prior

joedarkerFr. Joseph Ralph

Born in Dundalk and ordained to the priesthood in 1986, he

worked in Dublin with the poor, and in Cork with l’Arche

community which caters for people with learning and physical

disabilities. Before being assigned to Newry, Fr. Joseph spent

many years in Trinidad and Tobago. Fr. Joseph’s great passion is

the promotion of Lectio Divina.

FR Stephen TumiltyFr. Stephen Patrick Tumilty

A native of Newry, Stephen was ordained to the priesthood in

1970. He taught In Newbridge and ministered in Dundalk, Sligo and

Waterford. He has a great affinity with the people of Newry

and his gentle ministry is widely appreciated.


Fr. Cesare Decio

A native of Florence (Italy) and ordained priest in 2004, Fr. Cesare

spent 17 years in the Italian Border Police before joining the

Dominicans. Since then, he had worked as curate in Rome and

Venice. In the last two years, Cesare has been involved in the

youth ministry, hospital chaplaincy, marriage preparation courses

and Church Apostolate.

Fr Noel McKeownFr. Noel Mc Keown

A native of Derry, entered the Dominican

Order in Cork and after studies there and at St Mary’s Priory,

Tallaght, was ordained to the Priesthood in Holy Cross Chapel,

Clonliffe College Dublin. His final year of studies was at the

Angelicum University in Rome. He has since served in various

priories of the Order, both overseas and in Ireland and is

currently assigned to St. Catherine’s priory, Newry.

Fr. Adrian Farrelly O.P.

is a native of Ardee Co. Louth.  Since his ordination in 1982 he has been assigned to Dundalk, Tallaght in Dublin, Trinidad in the West Indies,  St. Saviour’s  Dublin, St. Mary’s Cork  and was assigned to Newry  in 2016.   Since his ordination he has been involved in retreat work around the country.  He was Director of the Dominican Retreat Centre in Tallaght and  was prior in St. Mary’s  Cork and St. Saviours Dublin.  He qualified as a ‘Focusing’ teacher at the Focusing Institute in New York in 2001.

Membership in the Order
CrestIncludes friars, nuns, active sisters and lay or secular Dominicans (formerly known as tertiaries) affiliated with the Order. The Dominican Order came into being in the Middle Ages at a time when religion began to be contemplated in a new way. Men of God were no longer expected to stay behind the walls of a cloister. Instead, they travelled among the people, taking as their examples the apostles of the primitive Church. Out of this ideal emerged two orders of mendicant friars: one, the Friars Minor, was led by Francis of Assisi; the other, the Friars Preachers, by Dominic of Guzman. Like his contemporary, Francis, Dominic saw the need for a new type of organization, and the quick growth of the Dominicans and Franciscans during their first century of existence confirms that the orders of mendicant friars met a need.