Tributes pour in for the late Bishop Hegarty

Tributes have been paid to former Bishop of Raphoe and Derry, Seamus Hegarty who passed died yesterday.

Born in Kilcar, Co Donegal, Bishop Hegarty retired as Bishop of Derry after 7 years in 2011, due to ill health, having previously served as Bishop of Raphoe.

In leading today's tributes, Bishop of Derry Donal McKeown said that Bishop Séamus had an impressive dedication to his role as a priest and bishop, with a special expertise in education. His concern for Irish emigrants around the world was constant and heartfelt.

Bishop of Raphoe Alan McGuckian said that Bishop Hegartys ministry as bishop was deeply challenged.

During those years there was the tragedy of serious crimes of child sexual abuse perpetrated by priests in the diocese.

Following his resignation in 2011 on grounds of ill-health, Bishop Hegarty said he was deeply sorry that anyone was hurt through his management of allegations historically.

Meanwhile Foyle MP Elisha McCallion also expressed her condolences stating that many people across Derry and Donegal, where he previously served as bishop, will be saddened by his passing.

“He led the Derry diocese for many years and was involved in many important times in people's lives, including confirmations and events"