Hundreds of mourners gathered in Buncrana yesterday morning to say a final farewell to an Inishowen ‘legend.’
Hugh “Dick” Doherty passed away on Monday at the age of 93. He was one of the most renowned names in Donegal football and regarded as one of the greatest players to come out of Inishowen.
He was also a former member of Buncrana Town Council, a businessman and a “highly-respected individual” who was instrumental in the forming of the Inishowen League.
Buncrana Hearts Under 12 Foyle Cup teams formed a guard of honour in respect of one of its founding members, as Mr Doherty’s remains were carried into St Mary’s Oratory for Requiem Mass yesterday morning.
Mourners heard Buncrana curate Fr. John Walsh describe the former Glasgow Celtic footballer as a someone who treated everyone “exactly the same.”
Fr Walsh spoke of how “well-liked and respected” Mr Doherty was and his importance to football at both a local and national level through the years.
As well as developing the Inishowen League, Mr Doherty also made a valuable contribution to the Ulster Senior League and Ulster Football Association.
Before his death, he was still active as Assistant Treasurer of the Inishowen Football League and a member of the Maginn Park Development Committee.
He was presented with a number of accolades through the years, including the FAI’s John Sherlock Services to Football Award.
Fr. Walsh spoke of Mr. Doherty’s time as a Fine Gael councillor and also noted how he delighted in greyhound breeding and racing, with dogs named ‘Swilly Sunset.’
He spoke of how Mr Doherty also had a butcher’s shop in Buncrana and “knew everybody.”
He said: “He was a wealth of information and could recount who was on a team in 1987 and who scored the first goal.”
Fr Walsh, a neighbour of Mr Doherty’s said he also had a “great memory for detail” who “treated everyone exactly the same.”
“That was the one thing people really respected about him.” he said.
Speaking after the funeral, Inishowen Cathaoirleach and Donegal Leas Cathaoirleach Nicholas Crossan said Mr Doherty was a “legend, a gentleman and a community man.”
He said: “He was someone very modest about his achievements and very well liked.”
Mr Doherty was predeceased by his wife Eithne eight years ago. He is survived by his daughter Deirdre and sons Denis and Eamon.
See page 89 for an appreciation of Hugh ‘Dick’ Doherty.