Freedom of the City to be given to two former church leaders

Retired Bishop of Derry Edward Daly (right) with Bishop James Mehaffey. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 14.9.11
Retired Bishop of Derry Edward Daly (right) with Bishop James Mehaffey. PIcture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 14.9.11

A proposal to confer the Freedom of Derry on two former church leaders has been passed by the outgoing members of Derry City Council.

The suggestion by the SDLP was passed at a meeting of the Council’s elected representatives at the Guildhall.

A meeting to to formalise the conferral of the honour on both men will be held soon. Derry City Council will cease to exist at the beginning of April under the Review of Public Administration and will merge with neighbouring Strabane to become Derry City and Strabane District Council.

The move was proposed by SDLP Councillor, John Boyle.

Mr Boyle said: “On behalf of the SDLP I asked that Derry City Council consider conferring the honour of Freedom of the City on the two former Bishops as soon as is practicably possible and that a Special Council meeting be arranged to consider the proposal. It is my understanding that the formalities of the process can be put in place relatively quickly and that Derry City Council can accord the distinction as one of the last official acts in its history. We believe that this would be a fitting tribute to both men, if that were to be the case.”

“Given their undoubted commitment to religious and civic life in our city over the past decades the SDLP believe that two Bishops would be extremely worthy recipients of this honour. Bishop Daly and Mehaffey are admired throughout Derry. Their contribution to many aspects of life in our city and their unfailing belief in peace building and reconciliation over the years has been immense. It is both right and proper that they be recognised in this way.”