Bishop Kelly was born 20 May 1946 and ordained priest on 20 June 1971. He spent many of his early years of priesthood teaching in various colleges across the Diocese of Clonfert. Between 1986 and 1995 he was president of Our Lady’s College in Gort. He also spent a year ministering to the sick and disabled as part of the Larche community in France
Returning to Ireland in 1996 he served as parish priest of Lisdoonvarna in County Clare.
In 2002 he was appointed as a Canon of the Cathedral and in 2003 he became Vicar Forane for the Diaconate in Kilfenora. From 2003-2007 he was parish priest of Spiddal. He was named Vicar General of the Diocese of Galway and Kilmacduagh in 2007.
He was consecrated Bishop of Achrony in 2008. He also serves as President of the Council for Education within the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference.