Bishop Edward Daly has passed away at Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry. He was aged 82.
The retired Bishop of Derry, who has been in ill health for some time, died this morning.
He was surrounded by members of his immediate family.
A spokesperson for the Diocese of Derry confirmed that Dr. Daly had died peacefully.
Dr. Daly had been in ill-health for some time and was admitted to Altnagelvin in the past few days.
As yet, no funeral arrangements have been confirmed.
Dr Daly, who was born in the Co. Fermanagh town of Belleek in 1933, attended St Columb’s College in Derry as a boarder in the 1940s.
He later studied for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained a curate in 1957. After spending five years in Castlederg in Co. Tyrone, in 1962 he was appointed as a curate at St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry, remaining there for eleven years.
He was present during the Bloody Sunday shootings and was one of a number of local priests who accused the Parachute Regiment of ‘wilful murder’.
In 1973, he was appointed as a religious adviser to RTE. Less than a year later, it was announced he was to be the next Bishop of Derry.
His ordination as Bishop took place on March 31, 1974, and he returned to the Cathedral parish where he had served as a priest for more than a decade.
His appointment was hugely popular among Catholics in the city, although his tenure as bishop was marked by a period of political uncertainty and paramilitary violence.
Dr Daly remained bishop until October 1993 when illhealth, caused by a stroke, forced his retirement. He became, temporarily, the apostolic administrator for the diocese and later spent time researching and writing on the history of the diocese and its clergy. He retired completely in April 1994.
His main daytoday activities in retirement centred around the Foyle Hospice. He was the organisation’s chaplain, regularly tending to the spiritual needs of terminally ill patients and saying Mass in the Hospice chapel almost every Sunday.
He retained a keen interest in the affairs of Bloody Sunday and campaigned vigorously for a new inquiry into the shootings, gave evidence to the Saville tribunal and was in Guildhall Square for the publication of the Inquiry report which declared the victims’ innocence.
In spite of regular periods of ill health, he published two volumes of bestselling memoirs, ‘Mister, Are You A Priest?’ and ‘A Troubled See’.
In the second book, he called for married men to be allowed to become priests and spoke of the “deep hurt” and “upset” caused by the child sex abuse scandals that had rocked the Catholic Church in recent years.