Leader of Irish Catholic Church offers resignation

Cardinal Sean Brady, the leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland, has confirmed he has offered his resignation.

Amid much speculation that he was to stand down, the senior churchman said he wrote to Pope Francis last month asking if he could resign as Archbishop of Armagh.

Pope Francis is expected to accept the resignation of Cardinal Sean Brady. Credit: PA

"I did so in anticipation of my seventy-fifth birthday which I will celebrate tomorrow," he said in a statement today.

Archbishop Eamon Martin will take over the role as Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland as soon as Pope Francis accepts the resignation.