Iconic Northern Irish Bishop Edward Daly dies aged 82

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By Robert Hackwill
Iconic Northern Irish Bishop Edward Daly dies aged 82

He was only a simple Catholic parish priest when in 1972 former Bishop Edward Daley, who has died aged 82, had his photo splashed onto front pages around the world.

"Bishop Edward will be remembered as a fearless peace-builder, His untiring advocacy...earned him respect from some, suspicion from others" - Archbishop of Ireland Eamon Martin

This was because he went to the aid of civil rights protesters in Londonderry, three years after sectarian violence erupted in Northern Ireland, and in events that became known as Bloody Sunday, soldiers of the Parachute Regiment opened fire, killing 13 people, and injuring 14. Another person died later of their wounds.

Waving a blood-splattered white handkerchief Daley helped tend to the wounded and evacuated those he could to safety as bullets flew around him and nailbombs exploded.

He spent 19 years as Bishop of Derry and was a prominent peace campaigner. Although his testimony that civilians had been killed without justification was rejected by London, a 2010 enquiry found he had been accurate. This prompted a public apology by the newly-elected prime minister, David Cameron.

Daly campaigned for innocent victims of the “Troubles”, including the Birmingham Six, who were wrongly convicted of bombing two pubs in the city and spent 16 years in jail in one of Britain’s most notorious miscarriages of justice before being acquitted in 1991.