TRIBUTES have been pouring in today at the sad passing of the former Bishop of Derry, the Most Reverend Edward Daly.
The 82-year-old died this morning at Altnagelvin Hospital surrounded by his loving family.
There has been deep sadness across Derry at Bishop Daly’s passing after a battle with illness.
Last night, the Diocese of Derry asked the public to pray for Bishop Daly saying he was “gravely ill”.
This morning he valiantly lost his battle against a long standing illness.
SDLP Leader Colum Eastwood has paid tribute to former Bishop of Derry Edward Daly who died this morning aged 82 following a long illness.
The Foyle MLA said: “It is with the deepest of sadness that Derry learns of Bishop Daly’s death this morning.
“It is difficult to fully express the huge sense of loss which the city of Derry is currently feeling. He was greatly loved and will be hugely missed.
“Edward Daly was truly the people’s Bishop. There was nothing distant about him. He was part of the people and that is why they in turn welcomed him into their trust. Although a proud Fermanagh man, as a young priest he took this city to his heart and very quickly became Derry’s most beloved blow-in.
“For many outside of Derry, their memory of Bishop Daly will always lie in the iconic image captured on Bloody Sunday. That singular moment captured the man’s compassion and courage in the face of violence. It was and remains an image which told the story of his life’s work.
“For the people of Derry though, Bishop Daly was iconic for so much more. Our memory will be of a man of many more images not just one. We were fortunate to have shared so many more moments with him, moments in which the true strength of his gentleness and care were revealed.
“As Bishop and later as Chaplain to the Foyle Hospice it was Bishop Daly’s personal and pastoral tenderness which brought him into the hearts and homes of so many Derry families. It is those memories which are in the minds of Derry’s people today.
“The thoughts and prayers of the SDLP, the city of Derry and people right across the North are with his family and friends at this time.”
SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan said, “Through turbulent, turgid times Bishop Daly provided signal witness against violence, division and despair.
“We have all been blessed by his pastoral leadership which offered consolation, counsel, challenge and conciliation as they were needed.
“Through the worst of hurt he also offered national and international witness in respect of healing and the purpose of reconciliation.”