The Rt Revd Alan Harper, Bishop of Connor has been elected Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland by the House of Bishops of the Church of Ireland.
The Bishop made headlines in December, when he called the British government's way of making laws for Northern Ireland "oppressive".
Making the announcement in St Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, the Most Revd Dr John Neill, Archbishop of Dublin said: "It gives me great personal delight to make this announcement, as I look forward, as indeed do all the Bishops, to working in partnership with Alan and under his leadership. Bishop Harper is a man of deep faith, great ability and pastoral insight and I am certain that he is the person that we were guided by the Holy Spirit to elect to this office. He will represent the Church of Ireland in situations in Ireland and beyond with great courage and clarity, and it will be a joy to work with him."
The Primate-elect, The Right Reverend Alan Harper said: "I am deeply humbled and honoured by the trust placed in me by my colleagues. I pray that God will guide me in fulfilling the responsibilities of the role of Archbishop of Armagh. I am conscious of the privilege of serving the Church in this role. I look forward to meeting the people of my new diocese and those members of the Church throughout the island of Ireland. As I look forward, I also express sincere gratitude to the clergy and people of the diocese of Connor, where I have served for 22 years, the last six years as Bishop.
He said that they had nurtured him and welcomed him and his family into their homes and parishes.
His election will take effect from 2 February 2007. In the meantime, The Venerable Raymond Hoey, Archdeacon of Armagh will carry the diocesan responsibilities for the Diocese of Armagh.
The Provincial responsibilities are carried by the Archbishop of Dublin, the Most Reverend John Neill until this date.
Upon taking up his responsibilities as Archbishop of Armagh, the Right Reverend Alan Harper will be the 104th in the succession of abbots, bishops and archbishops of Armagh since St Patrick.
Born in 1944 Alan Harper was educated at Moorgate County Primary School, Tamworth, Staffordshire and the Grammar School of Elizabeth, Queen of England in Tamworth. He studied at Leeds and Dublin universities.