Bishop Edward Daly was a ‘remarkable pastor’

The late Bishop Edward Daly has been hailed as a “remarkable pastor” who was “much loved and admired”.

The late Bishop of Derry Edward Daly.
The late Bishop of Derry Edward Daly.

The words were spoken by the current Bishop of Derry, Dr Donal McKeown, as a new exhibition celebrating Dr Daly’s life and legacy opened to the public in the city.

‘A Man for All Seasons’ is on display at the Cathedral Hall, Infirmary Road, throughout this week.

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Dr McKeown said the exhibition was a good opportunity to remember Dr Daly who passed away, aged 82, in August 2016.

Dr McKeown said he hoped the new exhibition would allow people to give thanks for the contribution that Bishop Daly made to the “life and hopes of this country”.

The late Bishop, he said, had played such a significant role in the Derry diocese over many decades.

“It is good to remember him, his pastoral work and his peace-making courage,” he added. “But there is also another important reason that we remember him. Many books have been written about the role played by politicians, paramilitaries, the police, the secret services and the army. But there is little literature on the contribution that parishes and clergy played during the Troubles.

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“Priests worked quietly on the ground. They had to deal with bombs and bullets, terrible deaths and shattered families. They were called out to get young men out of custody and to accompany prisoners to family funerals. They were wakened at all hours to deal with bomb scares and hostage situations. And they then went back to the ordinary pastoral work of dealing with births, deaths and marriages.

“This exhibition is certainly an attempt to tell some of the story of this remarkable pastor. We know from the huge crowds at his wake and funeral that he was much loved and admired. He lived for 22 years after his retirement. While he was gone from diocesan leadership and worked quietly in the Hospice, he was most certainly not forgotten by the people of Derry and beyond.”