09 Dec 2021

Death of Bishop Edward Daly

Iconic symbol of Bloody Sunday

The death has taken place of Bishop (Emeritus) Edward Daly of Derry at the age of 82.

He passed away peacefully this morning at Altnagelvin Hospital where he was admitted a few days ago, surrounded by family.

Bishop Daly was photographed waving a white handkerchief as he led men carrying 16-year-old Jackie Duddy to safety on Bloody Sunday. The image was to become one of the most iconic symbols of that fateful day in January 1972 when British paratroopers opened fire on a civil rights march, killing 14 people, including Jackie Duddy.

Born in Belleek

Bishop Daly was born in Belleek, County Fermanagh, in the Diocese of Clogher, on 5th December 1933.

After primary education in Belleek, he attended second level education in St. Columb’s College, Derry. From there, he was sent, as a student for the Diocese of Derry, to prepare for priesthood in the Pontifical Irish College, Rome.

Bishop Daly was ordained on 16th March 1957, a priest of the Diocese of Derry. His first appointment was as a Curate in Castlederg, Co. Tyrone. In 1962, he was appointed as a Curate in St. Eugene’s Cathedral, Derry. In 1973, he was appointed Religious Advisor to RTÉ, Dublin. In 1974, he was ordained Bishop of Derry, where he served until serious illness compelled him to retire in 1994.

In retirement, despite poor health, until earlier this year Bishop Daly continued to serve as a dedicated Chaplain to the Foyle Hospice, Derry, a ministry in which he touched the lives of so many people. He also served as Diocesan Archivist.

“Exemplary ministry”

A spokesperson for Derry Diocese, said, “Bishop Daly served, without any concern for himself, throughout the traumatic years of the Troubles, finding his ministry shaped by the experience of witnessing violence and its effects; through this dreadful period he always strove to preach the Gospel of the peace of Christ.

“Bishop Daly provided an example of priestly ministry which was exemplary, inspired by service of God and the people he encountered. His ministry was characterised by his deep love of the people of this diocese, his dedicated visitation of parishes and his constant availability to others. The bishops, priests and people of the diocese were blessed to have such a dedicated and faithful priest among them.”

Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.

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