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CARDINAL TOMÁS Ó FIAICH
by
Dr Edward Daly, Bishop of Derry

Extracts, with the Society's permission, from an article in the 1991 Journal of The Creggan Local History Society

Cardinal Tomas, Pope John Paul II, Galway, 1979".....I suppose different people saw the late Cardinal in different ways......I saw him as a brother Bishop, a dear and close friend, a wise counsellor, someone to have a chat with whenever I was dispirited or going through a bad patch, someone I could ring up at any hour of the day or night. He was an extraordinary kind man. For anyone who was suffering, he was someone who cared. He had great gifts of compassion. He went to visit those who could not come to see him such as the sick, the dying, the bereaved, the emigrant, the imprisoned. Whilst he was at home amongst academics discussing weighty subjects, he was also quite at home at a county or club football match or taking part in a sing-song or music session. He never lacked the common touch. Infectious good humour was a significant part of his personality. He was easy to like and to everyone who knew him he was a friend, a dear friend.

......I also remember with great warmth the preparations for the Papal Visit to Ireland and visiting the Holy Father in Castel Gandolfo in the last days of August 1979 with Tomas ...... to discuss the detailed arrangements for the Papal Visit here. We had a memorable, lengthy and very enjoyable meeting and dinner with the Holy Father on Tuesday August 28, 1979. The man from Cullyhanna and the man from Cracow got on like a house on fire.

......He was a good shepherd, a good servant. He gave of himself with great generosity and unselfishness. Despite the many gifts with which he was endowed, he was a very humble man with whom one could feel at ease.... I thank God for the life and witness of Cardinal Tomas O Fiaich......




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