Tuesday 27 September 2016

Mourners told of Bishop Daly's struggle against violence and injustice

Greg Harkin

Published 12/08/2016 | 02:30

President Michael D Higgins alongside Bishop Donal McKeown at the funeral of Bishop Daly in Derry. Photo: Getty
President Michael D Higgins alongside Bishop Donal McKeown at the funeral of Bishop Daly in Derry. Photo: Getty

Bishop Edward Daly was a man of peace who struggled against violence and injustice, mourners at his funeral heard.

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President Michael D Higgins joined more than 2,000 people at St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry yesterday for the Requiem Mass of Bishop Daly, who died on Monday, aged 82.

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness attending the funeral of Dr Edward Daly at St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry. Photo credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness attending the funeral of Dr Edward Daly at St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry. Photo credit: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Some 1,000 local people and more than 120 members of the clergy packed into the cathedral, with hundreds more standing outside.

Pope Francis sent a special message of condolence, which read: "The Holy Father was saddened to learn of the death of the Most Reverend Edward Kevin Daly, Bishop Emeritus of Derry, and he sends heartfelt condolences to his family and to the clergy, religious and lay faithful of the diocese.

"Recalling Bishop Daly's generous and dedicated episcopal ministry in the service of peace and justice, His Holiness joins you in prayerful thanksgiving for his life and in commending his soul to the merciful love of God Our Father."

Bishop Daly came to world prominence in January 1972 as he helped to take the dying Jackie Duddy (17) out of the Bogside after the young man had been shot by British soldiers on Bloody Sunday. Mr Duddy was one of 14 people to be killed.

Jackie Duddy's sister Kay was among the offertory procession at the funeral of Dr Daly.

Mourners included the former SDLP leader John Hume; the queen's representative, the Lord Lieutenant of Derry, Angela Garvey; Sinn Féin leader Martin McGuinness (inset) and the PSNI chief for Derry, Mark McKeown.

They heard the current Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown, pay tribute to Dr Daly as a man of peace who opposed violence from all quarters during the Troubles.

"His ministry was marked by total dedication to the people he served, wherever he was called to minister," said Dr McKeown.

"That dedication was visible in outstanding courage.

"He showed physical courage on Bloody Sunday and his moral courage was evident in his passionate struggle against violence and injustice.

"It takes enormous courage to be a peacemaker and he was an apostle of mercy, whether as a curate, as a bishop or as chaplain in the Foyle Hospice."

Dr McKeown said that when Dr Daly asked him to pray for him in 1974, "this was not merely a pious expression, rather it seemed to come from a heart which knew the maelstrom that was the North of Ireland in those awful years.

"He knew about murder and loss. He knew the years of conflict followed decades of terrible poverty and discrimination."

An emotional Archbishop of Armagh, Eamon Martin, a native of Derry, said his mentor had been "a wonderful priest and bishop".

He added: "Edward Daly was a great priest, a caring and compassionate pastor."

Irish Independent

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