Irish Catholic Cardinal Cahal Daly dies in Belfast
- By PATRICK ROBERTS,IrishCentral.com
Published Thursday, December 31, 2009, 4:23 PM
Updated Thursday, December 31, 2009, 4:31 PM
The Irish Catholic Cardinal Cahal Daly has died in Belfast aged 92.
Cardinal Daly, Ireland's most senior cardinal, died in Belfast City Hospital Thursday surrounded by family and friends.
Politicians including President Mary McAleese, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen and Fine Gael leader paid tribute to Daly's work on the North.
Daly is widely believed to have been the author of Pope John Paul's Drogheda speech in September 1979 appealing to the IRA to end its violence.
McAleese said, "He showed immense courage in his efforts to advocate for peaceful resolution to the conflict in Northern Ireland and he was deeply committed to inter-church relations."
Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Brian Cowen said Daly was a trenchant supporter of peace. "He was a man of great intellect and humanity," he said. "He made a huge contribution to both the Catholic Church and civic society in Ireland."
"He was an outspoken critic of those who used violence to achieve political objectives. He gave strong backing to the emerging peace process in Northern Ireland and determinedly used his influence in every way he could to bring about a peaceful solution."
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny said Daly "strove tirelessly for peace and sanity in the midst of great turmoil in the North".
The 92-year-old cardinal was ordained as a priest in 1941 and retired in 1996 when he was the Primate of All Ireland.
Since his retirement he has published many books and papers on the subject of philosophy.
Daly is best known for leading a delegation on the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in the 1990s and the New Ireland Forum in the 1980's.
An advocate of peace, he spent much of his time seeking an end to violence in the North of Ireland by peaceful means.
The Cardinal strongly condemned the IRA's campaign during the Troubles and strongly voiced his support for the Downing Street declaration in 1993.
Acknowledging Britain's attempt to recognise Irish Republicanism and achieve a compromise, the Cardinal said the IRA "would have nowhere to go, no political future, no place in the shaping of a future for Ireland, no hope of any access ever to any political dialogue or to any sharing of political power." if they refused to engage in the peace process.