SDLP leader and MLA for Foyle, Colum Eastwood, has described the late Bishop Edward Daly as the “peoples’ bishop”.
Bishop Daly sadly passed away in Altnagelvin on Monday morning at the age of 82.
“Edward Daly was truly the people’s bishop,” said Mr. Eastwood.
“There was nothing distant about him. He was part of the people and that is why they in turn welcomed him into their trust. Although a proud Fermanagh man, as a young priest he took this city to his heart and very quickly became Derry’s most beloved blow-in.”
MP for Foyle, Mark Durkan, said Bishop Daly played an integral role in helping to deliver peace during the Troubles.
“Through turbulent, turgid times Bishop Daly provided signal witness against violence, division and despair.
“We have all been blessed by his pastoral leadership which offered consolation, counsel, challenge and conciliation as they were needed.
“Through the worst of hurt he also offered national and international witness in respect of healing and the purpose of reconciliation.”
Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Ken Good, said Bishop Daly “provided an impressive and influential example of Christian witness”.
“The death of Bishop Edward Daly is a great loss to his family, to the Roman Catholic Church and to the whole community. He was a man of great strength, great courage and great compassion and set an inspirational example to everyone around him.
“Bishop Daly provided unwavering Christian leadership and guidance when it was desperately needed in this city and community – during the darkest days of the Troubles. His deep friendship with my predecessor, Bishop James Mehaffey, provided an impressive and influential example of Christian witness.”
Bishop Good continued: He served selflessly for almost 60 years in his ministry as deacon, priest and bishop. Over the last 22 years he provided much appreciated pastoral care to the terminally ill at the Foyle Hospice, an experience which gave him a further appreciation of the sanctity of human life and the importance of faith.
“Bishop Daly was a good and faithful servant of the Lord and a good and faithful servant of this community. He was generous. He was great company. He was a good friend. He will be sadly missed. I extend to his family my sympathy and my prayers.”