Senior Catholics pay tribute 
to Rt Rev. Bishop Ian Murray

Rt Rev Ian Murray takes in the view from Oban after his ordination as Bishop of Argyll & the Isles in St Columba's Cathedral, Oban, in December 1999.

Rt Rev Ian Murray takes in the view from Oban after his ordination as Bishop of Argyll & the Isles in St Columba's Cathedral, Oban, in December 1999.

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Tributes have been paid to Bishop Ian Murray, former Bishop of Argyll & the Isles, who died on Friday (January 22), aged 83.

Originally from Lennoxtown, Bishop Murray was ordained on March 17, 1956, at Royal Scots College in Valladolid, where he studied for six years, and served as a priest in Edinburgh, Fife, Galashiels and Falkirk.

He was also a vice-rector and rector of the Royal Scots College in Spain, overseeing its move from Valladolid to its present location in Salamanca in 1988, and chaplain at the University of Stirling, before being ordained Bishop of Argyll & The Isles in 1999, a position he held until retiring in December 2008.

Bishop Murray spent his latter years in residence at St Columba’s in Newington, and then St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh – back where he began in priestly ministry nearly 60 years prior – before finding a new home at St Joseph’s House, Edinburgh, under the gentle care of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Perhaps fittingly, Scottish bishops received the news of his death while gathered in session at the Royal Scots College in Salamanca, where they celebrated a mass for him.

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, said: “On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference I offer Bishop Murray’s family our deepest and most prayerful sympathies. May God rest his generous soul.”

Archbishop Leo Cushley, of Edinburgh and St Andrews diocese, added: “Ian Murray was happy priest, a good bishop and a father to his people with a particular corner of his heart for the students of the Royal Scots College in Spain.”

Bishop Joseph Toal of Motherwell, also a former rector of the Royal Scots College and Bishop Emeritus of Argyll & the Isles, said he would remember Bishop Murray with great fondness.

Monsignor Jamie MacNeil, diocesan administrator of Argyll & the Isles and new Bishop of Argyll & the Isles Bishop-elect Brian McGee, expressed their great sadness at his passing, and also gratitude to God for his service and his leadership in their diocese.