Former Bishop of Derry Seamus Hegarty laid to rest
Mourners have gathered for the funeral of the former Bishop of Derry, Seamus Hegarty.
Dr Hegarty, a Donegal native, died at the age of 79 in hospital last Friday following an illness.
In addition to his time serving in Derry, he was also the Bishop of Raphoe.
His funeral was held at St Eugene's Cathedral in Derry on Monday followed by a burial in the Cathedral grounds.
Bishop Donal McKeown told mourners Dr Hegary had a "deep sense of commitment" to Irish emigrants and a passion for education.
"At heart he was a simple man. Kindness and generosity were hallmarks of his nature – even though a tougher exterior might sometimes have shown itself," he said.
"He had an unflagging loyalty to the Church and to its service, in whatever role he was asked to play. But he knew that we are all in need of redemption – and he would never presume on the grace of God."
Bishop McKeown also spoke of the wave of clerical child sex abuse allegations that swept across Northern Ireland in the 1990s, for which Seamus Hegarty later apologised for his handling of in the Derry diocese.
"Terrible crimes had been inflicted on young people across this country and around the world – and, for a range of reasons, grave errors were made in responding to the wave of allegations," he said.
"That has all left a legacy of pain, alienation and mistrust. The Diocese of Raphoe and Derry were no different from anywhere else. He knew as well as any that we come before God, never boasting of our achievements nor crushed by our failures but trusting in the Cross of Christ."
Belfast Telegraph Digital