Edward Daly, priest in famed Bloody Sunday image, dies at 82

Former Roman Catholic Bishop Edward Daly, who tended victims of Northern Ireland's Bloody Sunday killings and became a defining image of the massacre, has died aged 82.

The Catholic Diocese of Derry says Daly died peacefully on Monday after a long illness.

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Daly was a priest in Londonderry when British paratroopers opened fire on a Catholic civil-rights protest march on Jan. 30, 1972, killing 13 people. The killings helped fuel Northern Ireland's sectarian violence, in which some 3,000 people died.

Daly became a hero by administering last rites to victims on the streets amid the mayhem of the Catholic Bogside district. A photo of the priest waving a blood-stained white handkerchief as he tried to help a dying 17-year-old become one of the event's iconic images.

"There's scarcely a day that passes when I don't think about that day. It's haunted me all these years," Daly said 25 years later.

An initial British inquiry outraged Northern Ireland Catholics with its finding that the British troops' gunfire followed IRA firing and that the victims could have been armed.

A 12-year investigation found in 2010 that the soldiers were not under attack and fired without justification on unarmed civilians, many of whom were fleeing or aiding the wounded.

Daly served as a priest in the city from 1962, and was Bishop of Derry from 1974 to 1994, stepping aside after suffering a stroke.

Daly later served as chaplain to a hospice in the city. In 2011 he published a memoir, and made headlines by saying that the church should allow priests to marry.

Over the years, he became close friends with the city's Protestant bishop, James Mehaffey, and the two campaigned for an end to violence.

Mehaffey, the retired Church of Ireland bishop of Derry and Raphoe, said Daly "was a man of God and a man of the people, a great church leader and a remarkable friend."

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Robert Lynch
2 years ago
The city's called "Derry" and not only "Catholics" were outraged by the initial whitewash of the massacre.

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