Friday, 12 August 2016

Derry Ecclesiastical Heraldry - Bishop Edward Daly

The death of Bishop Edward Daly R.I.P. on Monday 8th August 2016 saw a great outpouring of admiration for this man of peace.

I thought we'd look at his coat of arms.

The arms of Bishop Edward Daly

The first version of the arms were taken from Derry Bishops.pdf document available at:

 The second version is from Revd Bernard Canning's Book on the Bishops of Ireland 1870-1987.

From the dust cover dated 1987. The foreword for the book is by Derry-man John Hume.

The Arms of Bishop Edward Daly

It is interesting to look at the origins of the Daly surname and connection between the oak tree with both Daly and Derry.

The arms of the Daly family reflect the mythology surrounding its origins. The royal emblem of the lion probably derives from King Conaire, regarded as the family's human ancestor in prehistory, with the red hands coming from the name of Conaire's palace Bruidhin da derg, the fortress of the red god or goddess.

Curoi Mac Daire, the reputed divine ancestor of the Dalys, provides the crest, from Cu, meaning "hound", and Dair, meaning "oak-tree", both sacred in the old pre-Christian religion. Fr Daly and later Bishop Daly was to come to Derry.


When he became bishop in 1974, he adopted the motto Pasce Oves Meas (Pastor my sheep) while his arms, combining an oak tree and a dove symbolised his wish for a growing peace in Derry. 

The arms on Bishop Daly's Gravestone

Bishop Daly's Gravestone

The Preceeding Bishops in Derry

Bishop Seamus Hegarty (from 1994-2011)
Bishop Edward Daly (1974-93)
Bishop Neil Farren (1939-73)
Bishop Bernard O'Kane (1926-39)
Bishop Charles McHugh (1907-26)
Bishop John Keys O'Doherty (1890-1907)
Bishop Francis Kelly (1849-89)

The arms of Bishop Seamus Hegarty (1994-2011)

The arms of Bishop Francis Lagan (Auxiliary Bishop 1988-2010)

The arms of  Bishop Neil Farren (1939-73)

The arms on Bishop Farren's Tomb

Bishop Bernard O'Kane (1926-39)

The arms of Bishop Charles McHugh (1907-26)

The arms of Bishop John Keys O'Doherty (1890-1907)
[Taken from Revd Canning and photographed from two stained-glass windows at St Eugene's Cathedral Derry]

The tomb of Bishop John O'Doherty at the Long Tower Church

Details about Bishop O'Doherty

The O'Doherty arms on the tomb
(These arms differ from those on the stained-glass windows in the Cathedral)

The arms of Bishop Francis Kelly (1849-89)

[On the bishop's residence at Derry, the date 1876 is over the main door]

The arms of the present bishop, Bishop Donal McKeown follow:


There are similarities with the arms of O'Neill, for more discussion see:

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