Dr Edward Daly: Mayor of Derry 'should have attended' funeral

DUP Mayor Hilary McClintock
Image caption Mrs McClintock (right) pictured after she took up office earlier this year, said she could not attend the funeral due to a prior engagement

A Presbyterian minister has said the DUP mayor of Derry should have made "every effort" to attend the funeral of the former Bishop of Derry Edward Daly.

No politician from the DUP or UUP was at his funeral in St Eugene's Cathedral on Thursday.

Dr Daly became synonymous with the events of Bloody Sunday in 1972.

A spokesperson for Hilary McClintock, the mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, said the deputy mayor attended in her absence.

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Media captionBBC Cameraman Cyril Cave recalls the moment he filmed 'iconic' footage of Edward Daly

Dr Daly died on Monday at the age of 82.

An image of the then Fr Daly waving a blood-stained white handkerchief in Derry in 1972 became an enduring image of the Troubles.

Image copyright Pacemaker
Image caption Bishop Daly will be remembered as "the priest with the white handkerchief"

Rev David Latimer said he could only speculate as to why Ms McClintock was not present at his funeral.

"I would think that every effort should have been made for the first citizen to be there," he said.

"Given the stature of Bishop Daly in this city and the work that he engaged in, not only as bishop but in the incredible contribution he made as chaplain at the Foyle Hospice, I honestly think every effort should have been made.

"The person that needs to be asked is the first citizen herself.

"I would be disappointed if she was attending something and didn't allow someone to deputise for her," he said.

Image caption Thousands attended Dr Daly's funeral on Thursday

A spokesperson for the council said she was unable to attend the funeral and the deputy mayor was there in her absence.

The spokesperson added that a number of senior staff including the Chief Executive, John Kelpie, were also there to represent the council.

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Media captionKey moments in the life of Edward Daly, the former bishop of Derry

The DUP MP Gregory Campbell also defended Ms McClintock.

He was asked by the BBC if he believed her decision not to attend Dr Daly's funeral was because of the bishop's now famous role on Bloody Sunday.

"No I don't think that is the case at all," he told BBC Radio Foyle.

"If that had have been the case the DUP mayor wouldn't have... opened up a book of condolences, I wouldn't have issued a statement and the local MLA Gary Middleton also issued a statement - so I don't think that is the case."

Image caption The service at St Eugene's Cathedral was led by the Bishop of Derry, Donal McKeown

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