24 January 2006

Bishop Recalls 'Day That Changed Both Our Lives'

Derry Journal

Tuesday 17th January 2006

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The late John Bierman, who captured one of the most iconic images of Bloody Sunday, was the first person to show the massacre to the world, Bishop Edward Daly has said. The award winning-journalist and his team captured the image of fatally wounded Jackie Duddy being carried away from danger, led by the then Father Daly waving a white handkerchief.

Dr. Daly yesterday paid tribute to the veteran BBC reporter Bierman - who has died aged 76 --as a "distinguished journalist" for whom he held great admiration. "He was the first person to bring news to the world of the events of Bloody Sunday. "He was important in reporting to the world what happened in Derry on that day. "He was, I think, one of the first international journalist to recognise the significance of the events and he was very important to Derry because of that." Dr. Daly still recalls vividly seeing the BBC news team filming as he led a group of men carrying the stricken teenager, Jackie Duddy through the Bogside as gunshots from One Para rang out. "I saw the camera crew but I didn't see the reporter at the time, although a short time later I met him at the Rossville Street shops where he interviewed me. "In the interview I described what happened as mass murder. It was certainly the most momentous interview I ever gave and I was quite distraught at the time.

"The interview was interrupted by gunfire and broke for a moment or two as the shots were quite close," he said. In May 2001 Bierman gave evidence to the Bloody Sunday Inquiry at the Guildhall and met Bishop Daly for the first time since that historic interview.

"I became interested in his career and he became interested in my career but we never made contact until the afternoon of his Saville Tribunal hearing," Dr. Daly explained. "Ours was a relationship in that we were both party to events which changed our lives. "I remember I spent a good part of the afternoon with him discussing the events of Bloody Sunday, the Saville inquiry and how both of our lives were subsequently changed by the events of that day," he said. After reporting the events of the Civil Rights march of January 30 1972 - during which Bierman's team was assigned to the demonstrators - the Cannes Film Festival presented the journalist with the Best TV News Coverage award. John Bierman died in Cyprus on January 4th.

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