Derry Specsavers staff pay tribute to beloved colleague Michelle

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Staff and directors at Specsavers in Ferryquay Street have paid a heartfelt tribute to Michelle Doherty, their much loved and admired store manager, who passed away on Tuesday, February 19.

Derry Store Directors Maeve Walsh and Sean McCauley said the whole team was devastated by the passing of Michelle.

“Michelle will be missed dearly by everyone at the store and was well-known throughout the city as the ‘Specsavers’ lady. Hugely popular with customers, Michelle was part of our team for a quarter of a century and wholly dedicated herself to the business, looking after both our staff and our customers.

“Michelle was hard-working, trustworthy and straight-talking. An amazing colleague and when the going got tough she really could react with such positivity. Michelle was more than a colleague as she was a good friend to all of us and was great fun to be with. We have lots of lovely memories of Michelle that will stay with us, but one which stands out is when Daniel O’Donnell called into the store last May to get his glasses fixed. Michelle was thrilled to look after him as she was a massive fan and made sure to get a photo with him.”

Members of the Ferryquay store staff described Michelle as ‘brilliant and inspirational’ and commented on how much she believed in their abilities and encouraged each of them to reach their full potential. Michelle, they said, was a great listener, was firm but fair and had a real impact on many people’s lives with her wonderful supportive and mentoring nature.

“Michelle had a fantastic career here at Specsavers and has left a strong legacy. No doubt we’ll all face different work situations in the future, and we’ll continue to say to ourselves, ‘What would Michelle Doherty do in this situation.

“As a team we are proud to have known Michelle both personally and professionally and all of us are thinking of Michelle’s husband Leslie and her wider family at this very sad time.”

Born and bred in Derry, Michelle was part of the team who opened the Derry Specsavers store back in 1994. Appointed as an optical assistant, Michelle worked her way up to management team level becoming Store Manager in 2005.

One of Michelle’s proudest career moments was in 2012 when she received an Ireland and UK wide Outstanding Manager award for excellent team leadership. Michelle was delighted to receive the accolade from Specsavers co-founder Dame Mary Perkins at a managers’ conference in England.