Bogside Gaeilgeoir dies in London

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Patrick ‘Pat’ Leo O’Doherty, a well respected Gaeligeoir originally from the Bogside, has died following a short illness at the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead, London.

The 80 year old was an active promoter of the aims of Conradh na Gaeilge (the Gaelic League) over the past six decades. He became widely acknowledged as an enthusiastic tutor to countless Irish language students.

Pat Leo’ or ‘PL’, as he preferred to be called, was a keen educationalist. Past pupils describe him as “a quiet, popular and dedicated teacher”. He taught a number of subjects, locally and in London, where he resided most of his life. His last local teaching post was at St. Colman’s High School in Strabane, after being engaged by its principal, Mr. J.E.P. ‘Rusty’ Gallagher, in the early 1960s.

‘PL’ is also remembered by surviving contemporaries as “a brilliant cartoonist”. His art work also included illustrations, particularly for Irish language publications. They also point to a diversity of talents including being “quite an actor and stage-hand” in a number of Irish language drama productions.

He was the eldest of five sons and a brother to four sisters whose well-known late parents were Harry and Mary Ellen O’Doherty.

Pat Leo’s remains will return to Derry to be be waked at the family’s Crawford Square home. Funeral arrangements have yet to be finalised.