Fr. Leahy is currently professor of systematic theology at Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth. He his a widely published author, with his most recent works including His Mass and Ours: Meditations on Living Eucharistically, published in 2012, and Year of Faith: Stations of the Cross, to be released this year.
The post for bishop of Limerick has been vacant since the resignation of Bishop Emeritus Donal Murray resignation in 2009. Bishop Murray's resignation came in the wake of reports indicating he had mishandled sexual abuse allegations within the diocese.
Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Dermot Clifford, was among those who extended his congratulations to Fr. Leahy for receiving the appointment.
"In the context of his academic background as Professor of Theology, Father Brendan will no doubt be made particularly welcome as the new chair of Mary Immaculate College, Limerick… I wish him every blessing in his new ministry serving the very fine priests and people of Limerick over the coming years."
Monsignor Hugh Connolly, the President of Saint Patrick's College, Maynooth, also congratulated Professor Brendan Leahy on behalf of the entire College community.
Monsignor Connolly paid tribute to the enormous contribution that Professor Leahy has made to the life of the Pontifical University and the Seminary in Maynooth during his time there.
"I wish Professor Leahy every joy, blessing and grace in his future years of episcopal ministry," he said.
The Diocese of Limerick is made up of sixty parishes, as well as chaplaincies, religious orders, congregations, and school communities. It has a Catholic population of 184,340, with 89 priests in active in ministry, and 94 churches in the diocese.