March 9, 1963
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Michael Smith (born 6 June 1940) is the Roman Catholic Bishop of Meath, Ireland. He was ordained priest in the Papal Archbasilica of St. John Lateran on 9 March 1963 by Cardinal Traglia, Cardinal-Bishop of Albano. He celebrated his first mass on 10 March 1963 in the Clementine Chapel, located under the Altar at Papal Basilica of Saint Peter.
He was born in Oldcastle, County Meath, the son of Julia Tuite and Mr. Smith. Having studied for the priesthood at the Irish College in Rome, he was ordained a priest for the diocese on 9 March 1963. Continuing his studies in Rome he earned a doctorate in canon law. He attended all 168 days of the Second Vatican Council for which he and 41 other young priests prepared the official record, having been appointed as a recording secretary to the Council immediately after his ordination as a priest. Returning from Rome he served in the Cathedral Parish of Mullingar, as chaplain to St Loman's Hospital and as secretary to the bishop.
He was appointed auxiliary bishop of the diocese and Titular Bishop of Leges on 17 November 1983 and was consecrated on 29 January 1984. The principal consecrator was Tomás Cardinal Ó Fiaich; his principal co-consecrators were Archbishop Gaetano Alibrandi, the Apostolic Nuncio to Ireland, and Cahal Daly, Bishop of the Diocese of Down and Connor.
On 13 October 1988, he was appointed coadjutor bishop with the right of succession. On 16 May 1990 he succeeded John McCormack on the latter's retirement.
In his years as Bishop of Meath he served as secretary to the Irish Bishops' Conference and was actively involved in Church matters. Regarded as a traditional bishop he is well respected both by the people of his diocese and those in public life.
He takes a keen interest in world affairs and has led fund-raising campaigns to assist the victims of earthquakes in South America and victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
In October 2006 he travelled to Rome with the other bishops of Ireland for their five-yearly ad limina visit to the Pope.