Fr. Edward Daly, the priest who famously waved a white handkerchief on Bloody Sunday, was consecrated Bishop of Derry on March 31, 1974.
Six months later, the IRA murdered a close friend of his, as he recalled in his book, A Troubled See:
In September 1974, I was called upon to officiate at my first funeral of a victim of violence since my appointment as Bishop of Derry… Judge Rory Conaghan was a member of a distinguished Derry family and a man of great intelligence, integrity and faith. He was a personal friend of mine and widely admired in both communities.
He was murdered by a Provisional IRA gunman posing as a postman at his home in Belfast on the morning of 16 September 1974. A Resident Magistrate, Robert McBirney was murdered in Belfast on the same morning.
In my homily I said,
‘The death we mourn today is not just the act of an individual but of an organisation. Before it took place, there was in all probability a meeting, a discussion, a decision taken and a man designated to do the deed. Can any member of such an organisation feel free from the guilt of this crime? Surely the murders of Judge Conaghan and Mr. McBirney must bring home to us the fact that our country has now reached a state where it can afford only one division, the distinction between those who believe in such deeds and those who do not.
Too many people who call themselves Christians offer passive support to organisations that, in their inner hearts, they know are directly opposed to the mind and teaching of Christ. Perhaps these deaths may help to unite all people in our community who are prepared to take a public stand for Christian values. They cannot kill us all.
The difference between Unionist and Nationalist pales into insignificance when one is faced with this kind of savagery where a man is sent to his death at breakfast by a teenage gunman.
It would be better to die confronting evil than to live and condone it.’
Bishop Daly and his fellow bishops were convinced that not alone were individual paramilitaries in a deeply sinful state owing to their participation in murders, maimings and bombings, but more importantly that the organisation that was directing the campaign of murder and bombing was itself deeply sinful – since it was the origin of the spurious quasi-governmental authority and lethal motivation driving ordinarily normal Catholic people – primarily young people – to murder and bomb their fellows.
This view – that the entire organisation driving the murder campaign was sinful – was shared by Bishop Daly’s fellow bishops and of course by most of Irish and British society.
The contamination of sin was not confined to the organisation’s military wing – the IRA – but also to its puppet political front Sinn Féin whose role was to attempt to legitimise political murder and bombing and to argue in favour of the murder campaign in the public realm.
It was no secret that many Sinn Féin members were also members of the IRA and those who were not such dual members were nevertheless required to give whole-hearted support to the IRA’s campaign of murder and bombing – and still do so unashamedly today.
On September 29th, 1979, Pope John Paul II before 250,000 Catholics at Drogheda said:
‘I wish to speak to all men and women engaged in violence. I appeal to you, in language of passionate pleading. On my knees I beg you, to turn away from the path of violence and to return to the ways of peace.’
By the early 1980s and the hungerstrikes, Ireland’s Roman Catholic bishops stated:
“We therefore implore the hunger strikers and those who direct them to reflect deeply on the evil of their actions and their consequences. The contempt for human life, the incitement to revenge, the exploitation of the hunger strikers to further a campaign of murder, the intimidation of the innocent, the initiation of children into violence, all this constitutes an appalling mass of evil.”
In November of 1987, a week after the Enniskillen Remembrance Day bombing that murdered 11 victims, the Irish Bishops said:
“There is no room for ambivalence in the face of the present campaigns of republican violence. The choice for all Catholics is clear. It is a choice between good and evil. It is sinful to join organisations committed to violence or to remain in them. It is sinful to support such organisations or to call on others to support them. People must choose.”
In March 1988 following the murders of the two army corporals, Cardinal Cahal Daly said:
“For God’s sake rid our hearts of this poison. Evil must be rejected totally and unequivocally. There must be no ambivalence, no double standards, no selective indignation. The real face of I.R.A. violence was shown and it was horrible to see.”
The IRA held itself to be the ‘true’ government of all Ireland and regarded partitionist governments of the Irish Free State and of Northern Ireland as illegitimate.
Republicans throughout Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland regarded the Tricolour flag as belonging rightly to the IRA tradition – and its use at IRA funerals was intended to de-legitimise “those bastards in power in the Free State” – the words of Provisional IRA GHQ Quartermaster General and sometime Chief of Staff, Libyan gun and SEMTEX runner Belfastman Brian Keenan, speaking at Milltown Cemetery in Belfast in the year 2000.
Republicans regularly sang their political hymn “Take it Down from the Mast Irish Traitors” in reference to the Tricolour flag as their rightful emblem.
Here is former O.C. of the IRA prisoners in the Maze Prison/Long Kesh, Bayardo Bar bomber/shooter Brendan ‘Bik’ McFarlane strumming it out in the Rock Bar on the Falls Road where he is a regular fixture:
In case you are not familiar with the words of the song, here they are:
Following the death of IRA volunteer Gerard Logue by accidental discharge of his own weapon in the Waterside area of Derry/Londonderry in March of 1987, Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams determined that his funeral on March 24 would be marked by the only sacramentals that mattered to the IRA – gunfire over his coffin.
In spite of the large RUC presence, two IRA volunteers used the cover of St. Columba’s church, Long Tower, both to fire shots over Logue’s coffin and to disappear along with their guns in full view of police.
This IRA activity, overseen by Martin McGuinness and Gerry Adams, occurred 48 hours after the IRA had murdered Leslie Jarvis at Magee College in the city and – when police went to the scene – exploded a boobytrap bomb in Jarvis’ briefcase and murdered two police officers, Austin Wilson and John Bennison.
Jarvis was a civilian leatherwork instructor at Magilligan Prison.
Bishop Edward Daly was aware that the IRA murders and funeral shootings in St. Columba’s church were personally overseen by Martin McGuinness who had zero respect for the Catholic church and its teachings.
Twice before, persons whose vehicles were hijacked by the IRA were held – at gunpoint – in the pews of St. Columba’s church by armed IRA volunteers.
Bishop Edward Daly subsequently banned paramilitary trappings at funerals in his diocese and stated the obvious solution from the church’s point of view – that the funeral Mass need not be offered at the same time or even on the same day of the IRA’s atheistic funeral theatre.
The paramilitary trappings included berets, gloves, shootings and – above all – the disputed Tricolour flag which the IRA claimed as its own, rejecting the Republic of Ireland’s claim to the emblem.
The IRA claimed to be the rightful government of all of Ireland since 1918 and the Tricolour was the central emblem of that spurious claim.
In the ongoing battle between the Catholic church in Derry/Londonderry and the IRA Army Council – effectively in the person of Martin McGuinness, IRA Chief of Staff, the Catholic church led by Bishop Edward Daly won the St. Columba’s church gunshots’ power struggle.
Bishop Edward Daly knew that Martin McGuinness had controlled the murder campaign not only in the city, but throughout Northern Ireland and England, and even those murders occurring in the Republic of Ireland.
Bishop Daly had taken a very personal and public stand against the IRA’s Chief of Staff Martin McGuinness over the latter’s direct involvement in the murder of Frankie Hegarty – a local IRA Quartermaster whose information supplied to security forces allowed Gardai in the Republic of Ireland to find the biggest ever IRA dump of weapons supplied by Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi, thus saving countless lives.
After Frankie Hegarty had fled to England, McGuinness frequented the Hegarty home and promised Frankie’s mother Rose – on bended knee – that if Frankie returned to the city, he would not be harmed by the IRA if he cooperated and gave the IRA information about his activities.
Hegarty returned at McGuinness’ suggestion and trusted in McGuinness’ promise to his mother Rose. His sister drove him to Buncrana in County Donegal where he was taken away by his IRA interrogators.
At one point during Frankie’s secret interrogation, McGuinness visited Rose Hegarty and claimed that he ‘had just seen’ Frankie who ‘was fine and was eating a Chinese meal‘.
Days later, on May 25, 1986, Frankie’s body was found dumped at the border, shot in the head a number of times.
McGuinness ensured that a tape recording in which Frankie admitted to being an informer was delivered to the Hegarty family.
When Rose Hegarty publicly accused McGuinness of treachery, McGuinness resorted to direct intimidation of the family.
Irish Times journalist Peter Murtagh, then reporting for The Guardian, visited the Hegarty home shortly after Frank’s murder. Within minutes of his arrival, IRA men entered the house, ushered him to a car outside where Martin McGuinness informed him that the Hegarty family was upset and could not talk right then, that in fact McGuinness was declaring the interview over.
McGuinness had not merely ordered IRA surveillance of the Hegarty home in the wake of Frank’s murder, but also participated directly in intimidation of the grieving Hegarty family and the visiting journalist.
McGuinness publicly stated:
‘I do not condemn the IRA action. Condemnation from John Hume and clergymen is pathetic.’
[Neither the local nor national NUJ complained about McGuinness’ intimidation of a journalist.]
In the public controversy that followed, Bishop Edward Daly believed Rose Hegarty and stated that McGuinness was a brazen liar.
Bishop Daly repeated to me for years that McGuinness was a liar and that his word could not be trusted.
By this time, there was almost no-one standing up to the rampant murderous intimidation of Martin McGuinness and the IRA in Derry City except Bishop Edward Daly – a light to those in darkness, to many who were themselves too afraid to oppose the IRA.
Martin McGuinness’ killing spree of his fellow citizens was destined to continue unabated mutating into the ‘human bomb’ attack in Derry when McGuinness ordered 11 IRA volunteers to invade the Gillespie family home and drag Patsy Gillespie to his car bomb death at Coshquin along with 5 British soldiers.
At the funeral of Patsy Gillespie in October 1990 – when there were virtually no body parts to bury – Bishop Edward Daly told the congregation that the IRA and its supporters were:
“the complete contradiction of Christianity – they may say they are followers of Christ – some of them may even still engage in the hypocrisy of coming to church, but their lives and their works proclaim clearly that they follow Satan.”
Following his stroke, ill-health and retirement as Bishop in 1993, Bishop Edward Daly died on August 8, 2016 – 7 months before Martin McGuinness died on March 16, 2017.
Bishop Edward Daly would never have imagined – with his personal knowledge of the multitude of Derry/Londonderry victims of Martin McGuinness’ 30 year murder campaign – that his successor Bishop, Belfast-born Donal McKeown, would declare that mass murderer McGuinness
“should be given a comparable honour to that which would have been accorded to a former or serving head of State or government of Ireland”
with the very disputed Tricolour flag in the very church where McGuinness ordered 2 gunmen to produce their weapons and fire shots over Gerard Logue’s coffin in defiance of Catholic church rules.
A surprised Eamonn McCann noted in a Hotpress article:
But in terms of precedent and established practice it was startling: “It was decided that the deceased should be given a comparable honour to that which would have been accorded to a former or serving head of state or government of Ireland (Uachtaran or Taoiseach).”
In other words, it was decided that, for all intents and purposes, Martin was to be given a State funeral. The question of whether the Sinn Fein leader “deserved” this recognition is beside the point. As well him as any other.
The point is that this could be taken by those so inclined as acknowledgement if not acceptance of the status which Republicans have traditionally ascribed to the IRA, as a legitimate force representing the people of Ireland.
The sense of satisfaction among Republicans on the ground has been immense.
In other words, Bishop Donal McKeown, abetted by McGuinness’ Derry friend, Archbishop Eamon Martin, decided to grant mass murderer Martin McGuinness – and through him the IRA – the status they always claimed – the status of the true Government of Ireland.
In a calculated manoeuvre, Bishop McKeown and Archbishop Eamon Martin accorded the IRA organisation that their former Bishops described as a sinful, terrorist and satanic, a retrospective recognition that its violence was that of a State, of a Government, that it was deserving of honour and respect and that its victims were now to be regarded as mere casualties of war, since States may declare war while terrorists may not.
Farewell to previous Bishops’ beliefs that the IRA members’ “lives and their works proclaim clearly that they follow Satan”!
This is the gift that Bishop McKeown and Archbishop Eamon Martin in Northern Ireland have granted to a paramilitary gang that murdered over 1,700 people, that exploded thousands of bombs, that tortured and disappeared citizens and caused thousands of young and not so young members to spend decades of their lives in prisons.
What were formerly terrorist murders are now to be regarded as Statesmanship to be honoured by the grant of two Catholic Bishops of Northern Ireland.
Apart from the infinite moral hazards of this unprecedented grant to those whom former Bishops had called “followers of Satan”, Bishop McKeown and Archbishop Eamon Martin have together perpetrated the most dramatic betrayal of a fellow Bishop in Irish church history, namely the betrayal of everything Bishop Edward Daly believed and taught about the IRA organisation as intrinsically evil – since its primary aim was to murder on behalf of its own beliefs.
The recipient of this grant, mass murderer Martin McGuinness, had for years expressed that he didn’t share Catholic beliefs or guilt.
He told Hotpress Magazine’s Jason O’Toole that he didn’t believe in either heaven or hell.
When confronted about another Hotpress magazine interview where he justified the murders of “Free State” soldiers and police officers, McGuinness claimed memory loss – which was his usual tactic when blatant lies could not serve:
McGuinness had nothing but contempt for those dumb enough to be bamboozled by him and on his headstone he left a clear message about his church and his god – he declared himself to be an Óglach – an IRA volunteer to the last and – to clear up any doubt – he named his church: Óglaigh na hÉireann – the Irish Republican Army – a direct contradiction of the Defence Forces of the Republic of Ireland whose Irish name that is – and a snub to the President of Ireland, that Labour Party activist for many years, Michael D. Higgins – who had diminished the standing of his office by personally attending McGuinness’ funeral.
In a pointed rebuff to the Catholic church, Martin McGuinness’ gravestone contains not a single religious or Christian reference.
His gravestone remains a two-fingered gesture to the weak and contemptible Catholic churchmen who sold out one of their own to honour him – a type of treachery McGuiness himself detested in life and in death.
In March 2014, Pope Francis, referring to the Mafia, said:
“Power, the money you have now from your many dirty dealings, from your many mafia crimes, is blood money, it is power that is stained with blood, and you will not be able to take it with you to the next life. Repent, there is still time, so as not to end up in hell. This is what awaits you if you continue on this path. You have a father and a mother: think of them. Cry a little, and repent”.
These are warnings that the IRA Army Council and its Sinn Féin front – along with Bishop Donal McKeown and Archbishop Eamon Martin – should heed.
Did Bishop Edward Daly see the betrayal coming from his own?
Yes he did.
In August of 2010, Eddie Daly [as he was affectionately known in Derry] emailed me:
Eddie’s reference to “a very lonely time” referred to the fact that not a single churchman had telephoned him to offer him any kind of support when his name was being cast about the press in relation to Fr. Chesney stories involving Martin McGuinness’ Claudy bombings – which neither McGuinness nor the IRA ever got around to claiming or explaining.
Bishop Edward was shocked that none of his fellow Bishops even phoned him.
Look at how many of these hypocrites attended his funeral with their eulogies for him!
What was even more wounding to Bishop Edward Daly was the sight of one of his former priests – Fr. Michael Canny – publicly endorsing Martin McGuinness’ send off at Free Derry Corner in September 2011 when the IRA Army Council seriously thought McGuinness could swing the Irish Presidential election.
The fact that Fr. Michael Canny was allowed to wear his clerical garb at the Bogside rally gave the impression that the Catholic church in Derry and in Northern Ireland fully endorsed the mass murderer’s candidature – and maybe it did!
Canny put on the air of a simple-minded Fr. Ted character with no ability to discern, telling the BBC:
[McGuinness] said he left the IRA in 1974 but Fr Canny said he could not confirm or deny that. “I have come to this city during the Hunger Strikes in 1981. I have no reason to believe or not to believe him so I cannot say whether it’s true or false. If it’s true it’s true, if it’s false it’s false, I do not know.”
Fr Canny said he attended the rally to support a “son of the city” and not to encourage people to vote for him. “I was there in the capacity to wish him well as he embarked on this campaign to become president of Ireland. I am not asking anyone to vote for any party or individual.”
“It may appear as an endorsement but there was certainly no intention to say anything other than ‘I am there to wish him well’ on this leg of his journey.”
Canny’s blether was about as convincing at McGuinness’ assurances to Rose Hegarty.
Bishop Edward Daly could easily discern that Canny’s permit to attend McGuinness’ IRA rally in his full priestly garb was a sure sign that the Catholic church was readying a full U-turn to cosy up to the newly popular IRA/Sinn Féin juggernaut.
With the full permission of his Bishop, Donal McKeown, the same priest, Canny, went on to endorse [once more in full clerical garb] Jude Collins’ book about Martin McGuinness in March 2018 claiming that McGuinness had a ‘clear conscience’ and if he had his life to live over again, would ‘make exactly the same decisions’ – meaning McGuinness would commit mass murder yet again…
What a model for the dying breed of Catholic priests in Ireland!
The IRA movement and Lies:
Bishop Edward Daly – was ever a man so double-crossed and betrayed by his fellows?
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Very well put together I would a hard copy if it is possible . Thanks for the detail , as you get older it makes sense Edwin