Iconic Bloody Sunday bishop to receive freedom of Derry

Iconic Bloody Sunday bishop to receive freedom of Derry

A retired Catholic bishop who waved a blood-stained white handkerchief during Bloody Sunday is to be awarded the freedom of the city where the shootings took place.

Dr Edward Daly provided one of the grimly iconic images of the Troubles as he brandished the rag while attempting to help a fatally injured civil rights protester in Derry, in January 1972.

British paratroopers had opened fire and killed 13 demonstrators. Fourteen were injured and another was to die later.

Dr Daly has recalled: “All hell was let loose.”

The cleric was then a curate aged 39 at St Eugene’s Cathedral in Derry.

On Bloody Sunday, he joined the march as it passed the cathedral en route to the city centre.

He was near John “Jackie” Duddy, 17, when he was shot and anointed him and gave him the Last Rites.

Fr Daly and other marchers attempted to bring him to safety. The priest led the way with a handkerchief in his hand.

He said soldiers were firing bullets in all directions, people running every way amid scenes of chaos.

The killings were the subject of a probe shortly afterwards which victims branded a whitewash. Another judge-led investigation concluded that the men were innocent.

The Saville Inquiry cost £195m and was the longest-running and most expensive inquiry in British history.

In his evidence to Saville, Bishop Daly said he felt a personal duty to do what he could to establish beyond doubt the innocence of those whose deaths or injuries he witnessed on Bloody Sunday.

The inquiry said the Army had fired the first shots on Bloody Sunday and was to blame for what happened.

Tonight’s ceremony will take place in the Guildhall in Derry. It also recognises retired Church of Ireland Bishop Dr James Mehaffey in honour of the clerics’ contributions to the city over the past five decades.

The decision to confer the freedom of the city on the bishops was made at a Derry City Council meeting last month.

The honour was awarded to Nobel Laureate and peace process architect John Hume in 2000.


More in this Section

Covid-19: Elderly and vulnerable call helplines over 8,000 times in eight daysCovid-19: Elderly and vulnerable call helplines over 8,000 times in eight days

Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland: 'Coronavirus adverts must be accurate'Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland: 'Coronavirus adverts must be accurate'

Coronavirus: 36 more deaths from virus brings total over 200Coronavirus: 36 more deaths from virus brings total over 200

FF and FG to hold joint meetings with other party leadersFF and FG to hold joint meetings with other party leaders


Lifestyle

Dr Gero Baiarda dispels the biggest misconceptions.10 coronavirus myths tackled by a GP

Indulging in a little comfort eating lately? Worry not – with Easter just around the corner Maresa Fagan looks at how chocolate can be good for your heart, head, and healthFive genuine health reasons to enjoy chocolate this Easter weekend

Currently digging your garden up? You’ve got the ‘grow your own’ bug.11 things you’ll know if you’ve suddenly become obsessed with growing your own

IN TIMES like these, when we are stuck in our houses, going out just for exercise and groceries, it can feel harder to find inspiration and motivation to make the most of the food we have already in our cupboards, fridges and pantries.Currabinny Cooks: Making the most of store cupboard ‘essentials’

More From The Irish Examiner