By Sarah Mac Donald - 15 August, 2017
The first African to hold the role of Papal Nuncio to Ireland arrived on Monday and was met at Dublin Airport by a delegation from the Irish Bishops’ Conference.
Archbishop Jude Thaddeus Okolo is from Nigeria and has served as Apostolic Nuncio to the Dominican Republic and Apostolic Delegate in Puerto Rico.
The 60-year-old was ordained a priest in 1983. Following postgraduate studies in Rome he was appointed to the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1990.
He served first in Sri Lanka, then in Haiti, the Antillean Islands (which include Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, Saint Lucia, the Bahamas and Jamaica), Switzerland, the Czech Republic and Australia.
One of his first tasks in Ireland will be the appointment of a number of new bishops, as several dioceses have been vacant for some time.
Archbishop Okolo is fluent in his native Igbo and in English, as well as French, Italian, Czech, Spanish and German.
His interests include sacred music, piano, reading and table tennis.
He replaces Archbishop Charles Brown who was appointed to Ireland in November 2011 and served until March 2017.
The Irish American prelate is now Apostolic Nuncio to Albania.