Bishop Daly’s stole given to museum on 47th anniversary of Bloody Sunday

Bishop Daly kept a photo of Jackie Duddy, who died on Bloody Sunday, on his desk

It is the iconic image of Bloody Sunday – a priest waving a white handkerchief as he attempts to lead a dying teenager to safety.

The stole worn by Fr – later Bishop – Edward Daly as he attempted to save Jackie Duddy’s life is to be donated to the Museum of Free Derry on Wednesday ahead of a minute’s silence to mark the 47th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

Stained with Jackie Duddy’s blood, and the oil Bishop Daly used to anoint him, it is one of a number of artefacts representing the lifelong friendship between the Bishop and the Duddy family which will now be in the care of the museum.

The first victim to die that day, the 17-year-old was among 20,000 people who were taking part in an anti-internment march. Within 15 minutes, 13 people lay dead, shot by the British army’s Paratrooper regiment. A 14th would die later.


Footage from the day shows a visibly upset Fr Daly telling reporters that the army “just came in firing . . . there was no provocation”.

“That little boy was shot when he was running away, he was just a little bit behind me, and I heard the shot and I looked around and I saw him dying.”

“It was a great feeling of comfort to us knowing that he was with Jackie in his last moments and gave him the last rites,” says Jackie’s sister Kay.

“We loved him so much because of what he did for Jackie.”

For four decades after the atrocity, until his death in 2016, Bishop Daly kept a photograph of Jackie Duddy on his desk. It had been an ordination present from Jackie’s father William.

The framed photograph of Jackie – a keen boxer – and the letter of thanks written by Bishop Daly have also been donated to the museum.

“I could not have had a nicer gift for my ordination,” Bishop Daly wrote. “I will always keep it in a special place”.

A longstanding patron of the Bloody Sunday Trust, Bishop Daly was a key supporter of the Bloody Sunday families in their campaign for a public inquiry into their loved ones’ deaths.

He had actually witnessed Jackie being murdered, so for him, like for us, Saville was a sigh of relief that Jackie's name had been cleared

“It was so personal to him because he was there,” says Kay. “He knew the truth about what had happened to Jackie, and he used every power in his being to stay with us and to help us.”

The bishop was in Guildhall Square in June 2010 for the publication of the Saville Report into Bloody Sunday and watched as then British prime minister David Cameron delivered a public apology.

“He had actually witnessed Jackie being murdered, so for him, like for us, Saville was a sigh of relief that Jackie’s name had been cleared,” says Kay.

The stole, letter and photograph will now join Bishop Daly’s famous handkerchief in the Museum of Free Derry.

Jackie’s niece Julieann Campbell, who now works in the museum, found herself moved to tears at the sight of her uncle’s blood on the stole.

“It’s as if all the pieces of the story about uncle Jackie and Bishop Daly are back together.”

Freya McClements

Freya McClements

Freya McClements is Northern Editor of The Irish Times