Page last updated at 14:54 GMT, Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Mourners told Cardinal Cahal Daly 'a prophetic figure'

Cardinal Day's funeral
Requiem Mass for Cardinal Daly took place at St Patrick's Cathedral

Former Catholic Primate of All-Ireland, Cardinal Cahal Daly, was a "prophetic" figure, mourners at his funeral in Armagh, have been told.

The 92-year-old died on New Year's Eve, three days after being brought to Belfast City Hospital's coronary unit.

Requiem Mass for his life was celebrated by his successor, Cardinal Sean Brady, at St Patrick's Cathedral.

Cardinal Brady said his predecessor was "a prophetic, renewing and transforming figure in a time of immense change".

"His support for the noble vocation of politics is well known. Today, at the beginning of a New Year, we renew our encouragement to those who serve the public good in the political arena," he said.

"The hopes and dreams of so many depend on you. Remain steadfast in the search for a brighter future for all.

"Remember the distance you have already travelled together. Continue to work together to address social, economic and environmental challenges and thereby create the kind of country which Cardinal Daly and so many others yearned to see. "

Cardinal Brady was joined on the altar by Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh Gerard Clifford, Bishop of Ardagh and Clonmacnois Colm O'Reilly and Down and Connor Bishop Noel Treanor.

Martin McGuinness and Cahal Daly
Martin McGuinness and Brian Cowen were among the mourners

Mourners included the head of the Catholic Church in Scotland, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop Emeritus of Westminster.

Senior politicians, including Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen and Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Shaun Woodward were also among the mourners.


Cardinal Daly's nephew Fr Brian Daly concelebrated the Mass, while the mourners were led by family members including his brother and sister, two sisters-in-law and nephews and nieces.

Among the pall bearers were members of the Armagh Gaelic football team, while popular group The Priests sang at the end of the Mass.

Cardinal Daly was laid to rest in the grounds outside the cathedral alongside his three immediate predecessors, Tomas O Fiaich (who died in 1990), William Conway (1977) and John D'Alton (1963).

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 aged 79 and returned to his study of philosophy.

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