The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, led local citizens today in expressing the sense of deep sadness and loss felt throughout the district at the passing of retired Catholic Bishop of Derry, Dr Edward Daly.
A Book of Condolence has now been opened by the Mayor at the Guildhall, to allow local people to pay tribute to one of the city’s most respected figures.
The church leader passed away this morning after a long illness at Altnagelvin Hospital with his family by his bedside.
Ald. McClintock paid tribute to Bishop Daly, and his tireless work on behalf of the people of the district.
“I had been aware that Bishop Daly had been unwell, but it was with great sadness that I heard the news this morning,” she said.
“I know that through his work Bishop Daly has touched the lives of thousands of people and he occupies a special place in the hearts of many people from this city.
“His work in achieving peace has secured his place in the history books but it is his kindness, compassion and dedication to the city which will be remembered first and foremost by so many local people. Many today will mourn the passing of Bishop Daly, who was awarded the Freedom of the City last year in acknowledgement of his work.”
Bishop Daly served as the Bishop of Derry from 1974 to 1993. Originally from Belleek in Co Fermanagh he studied at St Columb’s College before he became a curate at St Eugene’s Cathedral. He was a great supporter of the Civil Rights movement and the iconic image of Bishop Daly waving a white handkerchief during Bloody Sunday has become synonymous with the story of the Troubles here.
He retired as Bishop due to ill health in 1993 before becoming chaplain at the Foyle Hospice where he has been a familiar figure until his own failing health prevented him from administering to the sick. He was awarded the Freedom of the City of Derry in March 2015, along with his friend and fellow retired Church of Ireland Bishop James Mehaffey.
Anyone who would like to pay personal tribute to Bishop Daly is invited to record their thoughts in the Book of Condolence at the Guildhall where it will remain open over the coming weeks.