Page last updated at 13:14 GMT, Friday, 1 January 2010

Tributes paid to Irish cardinal Cahal Daly

Cardinal Cahal Daly
Cardinal Cahal Daly was being treated in the coronary care unit

Tributes have been paid to Cardinal Cahal Daly, the former Primate of All Ireland, who has died at the age of 92.

Cardinal Daly was admitted to the coronary intensive care unit at the City Hospital in Belfast on Monday.

In a statement, the head of the Catholic Church in Ireland said Cardinal Daly had died peacefully in the presence of family and friends.

Cardinal Sean Brady said it was with "great sadness that I heard the news of the death".

He added: "It is difficult to do full justice to the significance and achievements of his long, full and happy life.

"But I believe, when fully assessed and appreciated, the legacy of Cardinal Cahal Daly to the ecclesiastical and civil history of Ireland will be seen as immense."

'Outstanding leader'

Presbyterian Moderator Dr Stafford Carson also paid tribute to Cardinal Daly.

"An outstanding academic, Cahal Daly will always be remembered for the huge contribution he made to the developing of better relationships between the Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches," he said.

Cardinal Daly made a significant contribution to delivering peace as he worked to break down barriers between communities
Tony Blair
Former UK Prime Minister

The Church of Ireland primate, Archbishop Alan Harper, said: "The cardinal was a most distinguished scholar as well as an outstanding leader of the Roman Catholic people of Ireland."

Irish Premier, Taoiseach Brian Cowen, said Cardinal Daly had been a man of great intellect and humanity who had made a huge contribution to both the Catholic Church and civic society in Ireland.

"He was a trenchant supporter of peace. He was an outspoken critic of those who used violence to achieve political objectives," he said.

"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."

Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair praised Cardinal Daly's contribution to ending the violence of the Troubles.

'Challenging circumstances'

He said: "Cardinal Daly made a significant contribution to delivering peace as he worked to break down barriers between communities.

"His life is a real and lasting example of effective religious leadership working to build peace and resolve conflict in the most challenging of circumstances."

Born in Loughguile, County Antrim, on 1 October 1917, Cardinal Daly was Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland in the early 1990s.

He was made a cardinal in 1991. He retired in 1996 at the age of 79 and returned to his study of philosophy.

Among his published works are Philosophy in Britain from Bradley to Wittgenstein and The Minding of Planet Earth, published in 2004.

We asked you for your memories of Cardinal Daly. Please find a selection of your comments below.

Cahal Daly once said that 'whataboutery' was the commonest form of moral evasion in Ireland. It seems there are still people who haven't broken free from that kind of mentality - recalling the grievances of one community to justify a feeling of hatred or an act of revenge. His words still have resonance today.
Gerry, London, UK

I am sad to hear of the cardinal's death. We met at a Daly clan gathering many years ago in Armagh.
Brendan Daly, Athenry, Co. Galway, The Irish Republic

As a protestant in Ireland in 1995, I wrote to Archbishop Cahal Daly expressing my sorrow at the religious intolerance and 'troubles' in Ireland. To my surprise, I received a beautiful handwritten reply from him, thanking me and telling me I would be in his prayers. A very humble and brave and spiritual man.
Mairi, Auckland, New Zealand

He was a close neighbour of mine, was a very kind loving man and had much compassion for what he was teaching. The Catholic church will deeply miss him. He lead the church at a difficult time with dignity and respect.
Jak Kelly, Belfast, UK

I have just heard the sad news here in Benin City, Nigeria, of Cardinal Cahal Daly's death. I recall his frequent TV encounters with Prof. Huxley many years ago, both, I think, in Queen's University at the time. The respect they had for each other's opinion was particularly edifying and illuminating. The clarity of his statements, his passionate denunciation of violence as a solution to political problems, his dignified silence in response to the many mean-spirited taunts of his critics, and his fair-mindedness stand out for me as I reflect on the career of a kind and spiritual man of great substance. May his kind and gentle soul rest in peace.
Peter McCawille, Benin City, Nigeria

I met Cardinal Daly when he addressed a meeting in London shortly after the first scandal of priests' immorality had broken and his sincere and heartfelt speech was of great service to help us.
Mrs A Farrelly, UK

He was a peaceful, honest and thoughtful man. A man for his time, a man for his age.
Mark, Merthyr, UK

Cardinal Daly did possess a great intellect, but pastoral concern and sensitivity were in my opinion lacking. From personal experience, I found Cahal Daly rather a cold individual with no idea of what it was to live in the real world. He was harsh and from a personal perspective he was slow to show any warmth or any kind of common touch. It was a sad day for Armagh and the island of Ireland when his predecessor Cardinal O'Fiaich died so suddenly. Here was someone that everyone took to their heart and felt so at ease in his presence, the same cannot be said for Cahal Daly.
Ed Murphy, Co. Antrim, UK

I stopped his car on a lonely country road with my patrol outside Crossmaglen in 1986 on a cold rainy wintry night. He got out in the rain and spoke to us. I will never forget the impact of his charisma, dignity and personality on us. We were soldiers in a foreign, strange and dangerous land yet he made us feel that we could help and be valuable. A proper gentleman.

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