The SDLP Group on Derry City Council has called on the civic body to grant the Freedom of the City of Derry on two former Bishops.
The proposal is for a joint conferral of the honour on the former Catholic Bishop of Derry, Dr Edward Daly and the former Church of Ireland Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Dr James Mehaffey.
Speaking after the monthly meeting of Derry City Council SDLP Councillor John Boyle, who proposed the move, said: “On behalf of the SDLP I asked that Derry City Council consider conferring the honour of Freedom of the City on the two former Bishops as soon as is practicably possible and that a Special Council meeting be arranged to consider the proposal. It is my understanding that the formalities of the process can be put in place relatively quickly and that Derry City Council can accord the distinction as one of the last official acts in its history. We believe that this would be a fitting tribute to both men, if that were to be the case.”
Councillor Boyle said, “Given their undoubted commitment to religious and civic life in our city over the past decades the SDLP believe that two Bishops would be extremely worthy recipients of this honour. Bishop Daly and Mehaffey are admired throughout Derry. Their contribution to many aspects of life in our city and their unfailing belief in peace building and reconciliation over the years has been immense. It is both right and proper that they be recognised in this way.”