Belfast Telegraph

Peace stalwarts receive city's highest honour from mayor

By Donna Deeney

Two stalwarts of peace during the worst days of the Troubles were bestowed with Londonderry's highest honour as the Freedom of the City was awarded to Bishops Edward Daly and James Mehaffey.

Bishop Daly is most notably associated with the role he played on Bloody Sunday. He became Bishop of Derry two years later, remaining in the position until his retirement aged 75. In his latter years he has become a central figure at the Foyle Hospice comforting terminally ill patients - a role which he has described as the most fulfilling as a priest.

Bishop Mehaffey was appointed Bishop of Derry and Raphoe in 1980 and remained as head of the Church of Ireland in the city until his retirement in 2002.

He is vocal on issues such as the expansion of the Magee Campus and spoke recently of his concern about the lack of political progress being made.

Bishop Daly said: "This is a wonderful honour.

"I am hugely pleased to accept it particularly when it is being shared with my friend and brother, Bishop James.

"It is enhanced by the fact that the honour is conferred by the elected representatives of our fellow citizens.

"We have been privileged to serve the people of this city and diocese and I thank the public representatives, the laity and the clergy of all denominations who shared ministry with us." Receiving the honour alongside his fellow bishop was equally important to Bishop Mehaffey who said: "Bishop Daly and I became firm friends very quickly and that bond remains today which makes this occasion all the more special."

The two bishops were congratulated by Catholic Primate Archbishop Eamon Martin.

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