WITH the recent death of Cardinal William Conway of Armagh, Primate of All Ireland, many Irishmen are speculating who will be his successor, like Cardinal Conway, who' was the 112th successor of St Patrick, the next Primate will face a host of responsibilities which are both complex and often highly delicate.
By tradition the new occupant of the See can be expected to receive the Red Hat the next
time the Pope names ,new cardinals. The Primate is' traditionally president of the Irish Bishops' Conference, which includes bishops from both sides of the political border. As Metropolitan, too, he faces the same situation: within the Armagh province are dioceses in both Northern Ireland and Eire.
But the complexity does not end even there. The Armagh archdiocese itself spills over into the Republic, although its See city is in Ulster. As a result, in the fields of education, public
health, and many other areas of public life where Church and State have common of perhaps conflicting interests, the Primate must be in a position to deal with two or even three administrations.
It is traditional that the appointment is made from within the province, and usually by transferring a bishop from another diocese rather than by choosing a new bishop from among the priests.
Bishop Cabal Daly of Ardagh and Clonmac nois and Archbishop Dermont Ryan of Dublin would appear to be the front-runners in popular opinion at the moment, although the claims of another Daly — Bishop Edward Daly of Derry — are not to be discounted.
Norn episcopal names being suggested include those of the president of the national seminary at Maynooth, Mgr Tomas O'Fiaich, and of Fr James Lennon, whose appointment as Vicar General of the archidiocese was one of the Cardinal's last acts.