Former Derry Bishop James Mehaffey ‘led with distinction and grace’ during dangerous times

Retired Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Ken Good, has led tributes to his predecessor Bishop Dr James Mehaffey following his death last night.

Tuesday, 7th January 2020, 8:31 am
In 2015 Derry City Council bestowed the Freedom of the City on retired Bishops Most Rev. Dr. Edward Daly and Right Rev. Dr. James Mehaffey. Also included are Bishops of Derry Donal McKeown and Rev Ken Good. Photo Lorcan Doherty Photography

Bishop Good, who himself retired last year from his role as Bishop of the Diocese, said: “I was very sorry to learn of the death on Monday evening of my esteemed predecessor Dr James Mehaffey.

“It is very easy nowadays to take the relative peace in our society for granted but it wasn’t always so. For over 20 years, Bishop James led the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe at a very difficult and dangerous time in its history.

“He did so with distinction and grace. He forged an enduring friendship – a lifelong bond – with Bishop Edward Daly, that was to help transform our society.

“The two leaders stepped out in faith, with prophetic courage, and modelled for us an example of Christian witness in a divided community. That kind of leadership and that kind of friendship are as relevant and as necessary today as they were almost 40 years ago.

“I thank God for Bishop James’s ministry and support, and for his truly inspirational Christian witness. And I extend my profoundest sympathy to his wife Thelma, their children Wendy and Tim, and to the wider family circle.”