Bishop Daly’s first anniversary Mass and Bogside vigil this evening

Bishop Edward Daly holds a portrait of Jackie Duddy (Niall Carson/PA Wire)
Bishop Edward Daly holds a portrait of Jackie Duddy (Niall Carson/PA Wire)

A large turnout is expected at the first anniversary Mass and vigil for the late Bishop Edward Daly in Derry this evening.

Bishop Daly passed away on August 8, 2016 at Altnagelvin Hospital at the age of 82.

Ivan Cooper, Vincent Coyle, Marian Ferguson, Ann Gibson (sisters of Bishop Daly) and John Hume at the unveiling of  a memorial to Bishop Edward Daly at Glenfada Park in the Bogside in September 2016. DER3616GS095

Ivan Cooper, Vincent Coyle, Marian Ferguson, Ann Gibson (sisters of Bishop Daly) and John Hume at the unveiling of a memorial to Bishop Edward Daly at Glenfada Park in the Bogside in September 2016. DER3616GS095

His first anniversary Mass will take place at St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry this evening (Saturday, August 5) at 7.30pm.

Mourners at his funeral last August spoke of how the former Bishop of Derry was known locally as ‘the People’s Bishop’ for his humanity and work in the community.

Following the service, there will be a community-organised walk to Bishop Daly’s Memorial in the Bogside.

The walk from St. Eugene’s Cathedral is being organised for all those who wish to pay tribute to the late bishop.

Organiser Vincent Coyle said: “I am hoping that as many people as possible take part in the walk and all are welcome to come along and walk the streets of Derry.

“Bishop Daly was a man of peace, a humble man and he could talk to anyone on any level.

“The monument is in the perfect place overlooking Rossville Street beneath the Civil Rights mural.

“We want to pay homage to a man who came from another town to our city and showed love and commitment to our people.

“He put his life on the line on Bloody Sunday to try to help others; he forgave people and in later years, he helped to reconcile people close to death through his ministry at the Foyle Hospice.”

Ahead the Mass this evening, a new gravestone has been placed over the resting place of Bishop Daly, located in the grounds of the cathedral.

The charcoal grey stone ledger coves the entire length of his grave.

It includes inscriptions of the Pax Christi symbol, his name and years (1933-2016),

It also includes his Episcopal coat of arms, with his motto ‘Pasce Oves Meas’ (‘Feed My Sheep’), as well as the years he served as Bishop of his beloved Derry, (1974-1993. The words ‘Lead Kindly Light’ - the title of his favourite hymn have also been inscribed on the grave stone.

Mourners at his funeral last August spoke of how the former Bishop of Derry was known locally as ‘the People’s Bishop’ for his humanity and work in the community.

Bishop Daly was praised for his efforts to help teenager Jackie Duddy and others on Bloody Sunday, and for his support to the families during the long campaign for justice.

The image of the then Father Daly waving a white handkerchief as he and a group of men tried to get the mortally wounded young Jackie past armed paratroopers to a place of safety on January 30, 1972 has come to symbolise the horrifying events of that day.

A message was read out at his funeral last year from Pope Francis, who paid tribute to Bishop Daly’s “generous and dedicated episcopal ministry in the service of peace and justice”.