Bishop Edward Daly: A special day for two Derry Riverdance stars

Bishop Daly pictured centre in Florida in 1999 with two Derry women who starred in Riverdance at the time. On the left is lead singer Jennifer Curran and on the right is champion Irish dancer, Joanne Evans.
Bishop Daly pictured centre in Florida in 1999 with two Derry women who starred in Riverdance at the time. On the left is lead singer Jennifer Curran and on the right is champion Irish dancer, Joanne Evans.
  • Bishop Daly was a fervent supporter of the arts
  • He attended Riverdance in Florida in 1999
  • He took time to meet the two local stars of the hit show

As has been documented for many years, Bishop Edward Daly was a fervent patron of the arts in all it’s forms and in particular a stalwart supporter of Feis Dhoire Cholmcille.

And one former champion Irish dancer from the city has shared a valuable memory of a visit to Florida by the late Bishop to the USA in 1999 when she and another Derry woman were visited by Dr Daly after a performance of Riverdance in which they both starred.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ Joanne Evans McDermott said: “It was a special day for us Derry girls, Jennifer Curran, who was lead singer, and myself. It certainly was nerve-wracking, but a proud day having Bishop Daly sitting in the audience in a theatre in Florida watching you compared to him watching you on the Guildhall stage during Derry Feis week.

“He was in America visiting Fr Keys and he took us for dinner afterwards. It was just lovely to see him and Fr Keys. It was always nice to see familiar faces when you were away from home.

“Why I remember ot so much is that I went to Disneyland the day before and got food poisoning. I was sick all night and I was actually crying the next day saying ‘I’m still stick and Bishop Daly is in the audience tonight and I might not be able to dance because I’m as weak as water!

“Maybe I was worrying he’d notice if I didn’t cross my feet properly. But, as ever the show went on.

Bishop Daly was a gracious and beautiful man

He will be remembered and missed by the people of Derry and by everyone that knew him-Joanne Evans

“Bishop Daly was a gracious and beautiful man.

“He will be remembered and missed by the people of Derry and by everyone that knew him.”