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Woman Elected Dean of Kilkenny Cathedral

Canon Katharine Poulton

The Church of Ireland has appointed a woman as Dean of St Canice’s Cathedral in the vibrant medieval city of Kilkenny which is part of the Diocese of Cashel and Ossory and which has been totally male-dominated since the Middle Ages.

The Church of Ireland has over 115,000 members in the Republic of Ireland and  the Dioceses of Cashel and Ossory is one of 12 dioceses, covering the counties of Tipperary, Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford, Wexford and some outer areas of Laois and Wicklow.

Canon Poulton will be formally installed and will take up her new post shortly after Easter 2010.

Aged 48, Rev Canon Poulton was born in Belfast, the daughter of a priest of the Dioceses of Down and Dromore, and moved to the Republic in 1999. She made ecclesiastical history as the first women to be ordained a Deacon in the Church of Ireland in 1987 and the second only female Dean in the Church of Ireland. She currently resides in Killiney South Co Dublin, with her two teenage children and husband Rev.Ian Poulton, who is rector of the Dublin parish of Ballybrack.

The Rev. Canon Poulton is currently serving as Bishop’s Curate of the Dublin inner city parish of St George and St Thomas, based at Cathal Brugha Street and has been a canon of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin since 2007. She is also a chaplain to the Mater Hospital, Temple Street Hospital and Mountjoy Prison.

Canon Poulton succeeds the Rev. Norman Lynas, who recently vacated his Kilkenny post to become a ‘Canon In Residence’ in Hamilton on the island of Bermuda.

Last month, the US ambassador to Ireland Mr Dan Rooney visited St Canice’s Cathedral, to see the tomb of bishop John Kearney, an ancestor of US President Barack Hussein Obama, thus confirming speculation that the American President will visit Kilkenny and St Canice’s Cathedral, when he visits Ireland shortly. President Obama is also expected to visit Moneygall, situated on the border separating counties Tipperary and Offaly, the original home of his Irish ancestors.

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