Monsignor Eamon Martin, 51, the administrator of the Diocese of Derry, is about to become the next leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland. He will be the youngest bishop or archbishop in Ireland when he is inaugurated in a few months.

He is one of 12 children from a working class area of Derry. His nickname among fellow clerics is ‘the machine’ for his hard working habits.

According to the BBC, Monsignor Martin has been appointed as assistant Archbishop of Armagh in an announcement by Cardinal Sean Brady on Friday.

Former Bishop of Derry Edward Daly said that Martin was seen as 'a clean pair of hands' after the church's two decade long series of child sexual abuse scandals hit the headlines.

'He does not carry any baggage from the past with him,' Daly told the BBC. 'It's a challenging time for the church in Ireland. He has been asked to lead that church.'

Martin has said the church must learn from the 'terrible trauma' of abuse. 'I think today of all those who have been abused by clergy, and the hurt and betrayal they have experienced,' he said.

'As the words on the Healing Stone at the International Eucharistic Congress remind us - they have been left with a lifelong suffering.

'I am saddened that many good Catholics were let down so badly over the issue of abuse and that some have even stopped practising their faith.

'As a church, we must continue in our efforts to bring healing to victims and ensure that young people are always protected, respected and nurtured.'

The Papal Nuncio in Ireland, American Archbishop Charles Brown played an influential role in selecting Martin say insiders.

Cardinal Brady, who is now expected to step down from his post, has been under relentless pressure to resign over his widely criticized handling of clerical abuse claims.

A BBC documentary last year found that when he was a priest, he had the names and addresses of children being abused by paedophile priest Brendan Smyth, but he failed to alert police or parents.

He has also consistently resisted resignation calls. Brady, 73, announced the changes at Mass in Armagh on Friday, where he conveyed his satisfaction at the developments.

'I am delighted that the man chosen is Monsignor Eamon Martin,' he said. 'I congratulate you most heartily, Monsignor Martin. I welcome you to the city and the Diocese of Patrick.'

The Irish Catholic newspaper has described Martin's appointment as an 'exit strategy' for Cardinal Brady.

The paper's editor, Michael Kelly, told the BBC: 'This is an exit strategy for Cardinal Brady and probably something where this new shadow bishop will take over within the next three or four months,' he said.

'It's been very clear that the cardinal's position has been, to say the least, difficult in the church and the Vatican has been engaged in a search for his successor.

'It seems now they have eventually found a successor who will shadow the cardinal, allowing the cardinal, at least on paper, or at least publicly, to go at a time of his own choosing.'