Garden of Reflection refurbished as Bishop Daly exhibition to open in Derry

The Garden of Reflection Committee have issued an open invite to those attending the new exhibition focused on the life and works of Bishop of Daly to also visit the garden created in his memory.

By Brendan McDaid
Friday, 5th August 2022, 5:11 pm

The exhibition entitled ‘Bishop Daly - A Man for All Seasons’, celebrates the life, influence, work and legacy of Bishop Edward Daly and was launched on Wednesday of this week ahead of its opening next Monday, August 8.

‘A Man for All Seasons’ marks the sixth anniversary of Bishop Daly’s passing and will be on display at St Eugene’s Cathedral Hall, Infirmary Road, BT48 7PB, through until August 14.

To coincide with this, the Garden of Reflection at Glenfada Park dedicated to Bishop Daly has been fully refurbished.

Vincent Coyle at the refurbished Garden of Reflection.

Speaking on behalf of the committee which tends to the garden, Vincent Coyle complimented the exhibition organisers and the diocese for honouring the memory of Bishop Daly with the new exhibition. “We wish them success and we believe it will inform more people of the great work he did. He was indeed a man for all seasons,” he said.

Mr Coyle, himself a civil rights advocate, said it was vital particularly younger generations are made aware of the colossal contribution of Bishop Daly as a “man of reconciliation and peace”, who worked alongside other civil rights leaders such as John Hume and Ivan Cooper.

“For me it’s about the young people being educated about the past, and this exhibition is so important for the young people of Derry to come and see, and listen and watch.

“Not only was he the local priest, Bishop and the civil rights priest, Bishop Daly also administered and worked in Foyle Hospice for 21 years.

Vincent Coyle with Bishop Edward Daly.

“He enhanced the life of so many souls on a one to one basis, and even when he was going through his own sickness he still remained with the hospice.”

Mr Coyle said the Garden in the Bogside was there as a permanent memorial and a tribute which the people of the wider community had taken to their hearts and helped maintain.

The Committee have invited those attending the exhibition to make the short trip from the Cathedral Hall to the garden, described previously as a tranquil place, a sanctuary in the heart of the parish where Bishop Daly administered as a priest at the height of the Troubles.

A Man for all seasons

The exhibition launch was attended by the family of Bishop Daly, current Bishop of Derry Dr Donal McKeown and Mayor of Derry & Strabane Sandra Duffy among others on Wednesday afternoon.

The exhibition is open daily from Monday through to Saturday, August 13 from 10.30am to 4.00pm. The final day on Sunday, August 14 it will open from 10.30am to 2.00pm.

The title of the exhibition was, say organisers, chosen to pay tribute to the “wide and varied contribution Dr Daly made to peace and reconciliation in Ireland, to Derry and its Diocese, to the search for justice and to healing the differences that divide Northern Ireland”.

The exhibition - which is supported by Derry & Strabane Council - will feature items linked to all aspects of the late bishop’s life, including his mitre, crozier and various manuscripts. It will also include film footage and photographs from throughout his life.

Born in Ballyshannon, Co. Donegal, but raised in Belleek, Co. Fermanagh, Edward Kevin Daly was Bishop of Derry from 1974 to 1993.

While a curate in St Eugene’s Cathedral, he came to world attention on Bloody Sunday, in January 1972, waving a blood-stained white handkerchief as he escorted a group carrying a mortally wounded Jackie Duddy through the streets of the Bogside.

He stepped down as Derry’s bishop due to ill health but continued his chaplaincy work at the Foyle Hospice until shortly before his death in the summer of 2016. He published two volumes of memoirs.