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Late cleric Daly to lie in state at St Peter’s Cathedral

Cardinal Cahal Daly, the former head of the Catholic Church in Ireland, will lie in state at St Peter's Cathedral in west Belfast today before being brought to Armagh, Ireland's ecclesiastical capital, for his funeral Mass.

The 92-year-old retired cleric died on Thursday night in Belfast City Hospital where he was being treated in the coronary intensive care unit after falling seriously ill on Monday.

Today the cardinal's body will arrive at St Peter's Cathedral at noon where Mass will be celebrated and he will lie in state until 9pm.

The cardinal was based for much of his career at St Peter's Cathedral.

On Sunday the Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor will lead a prayer service at 3pm.

The cardinal's body will then be taken to St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh, where his funeral Mass will take place at noon on Tuesday.

Following his death both leading politicians and church leaders united in paying tribute to the former Catholic Primate.

The Catholic Primate Cardinal Sean Brady led tributes to his predecessor.

He said: “At a critical and troubled time in Irish history he was prophetic in his conviction that lasting peace can only be built on justice, mutual understanding and respect for the traditions and aspirations of others.

“He was firm and courageous in his absolute rejection of violence as a means of achieving political ends.

“With leaders of other Christian traditions, his work for reconciliation helped to create the environment and principles upon which a lasting political accommodation was eventually reached.”

Cardinal Daly's term in office was a period of Irish history dominated by the violence of the Troubles.

He took on the post of Catholic Primate at the age of 73 and was a surprise choice for the position, but became a prominent figure in Northern Ireland.

The Co Antrim-born churchman was an outspoken critic of violence, and particularly of the activities of the IRA.

Belfast Telegraph