'˜He was so very, very special'
A sister of the teenager Bishop Daly administered the last rites to on Bloody Sunday, has spoken of how he brought her family great comfort in the years following the killings.
Dr. Daly had tended to 17-years-old Jackie Duddy as he lay dying on January 30th, 1972.
Jackie is believed to have been the first of the 14 innocent civilians fatally wounded by paratroopers in the Bogside. He had been running alongside Dr. Daly when he was hit.
A strong bond was forged between Dr. Daly and the Duddy family in the aftermath of the massacre and the subsequent fight for justice.
Jackie’s sister, Kay, said yesterday that everyone was heartbroken at his passing.
“He was just so very, very special,” said Kay.
“He has been a special part of our lives since Jackie died.
“What he did that day was courageous -when they gave the soldiers medals, there were no medals for our heroes.
“He was always there, doing as much as he could in the fight over the years to get their names cleared and he said himself he would do it to his dying breath. He made no bones about it, he said he would do whatever he could.
“He was an eyewitness, he was there and he was totally ignored.
“God love him, it broke his heart and he lived his life in the shadow of it. Even on the steps of the Guildhall at Saville, he was very moved.
“He has been such a friend and knowing him was such a comfort. His thoughts and prayers meant so much to us and on behalf of the Duddy family I thank him for all he has done. He had such a major part, such a major input into it all.”
One of the most iconic and harrowing images to emerge from Bloody Sunday was that of Dr Daly waving a handkerchief as he, and others, desperately tried to get the wounded Jackie Duddy to a place of safety where he could get treatment.
The handkerchief was later returned to the Duddy family along with Jackie’s clothing.
Kay said that Dr. Daly was very touched when he found out that she had carried that handkerchief with her over the years. If has since been donated to the Museum of Free Derry to help tell the story of the people at the centre of the Bloody Sunday massacre.
Speaking of Dr Daly’s passing, Kay added: “When we heard he was ill, I wrote him a wee note, telling him we were thinking of him and praying for him.
“He is a major loss to the city. He worked so tirelessly for everybody, across the board. He was a great ambassador for this town- not just for the church but for the working class people of Derry and he will be sorely missed.”