For the first time in the Derry Journal’s long history in the city, today we are printing a death notice marking a 100th anniversary.
Charles Cahir O’Doherty, a well known violin maker in Derry died exactly 100 years today.
Today his grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchildren have decided to remember him by placing his anniversary notice in the pages of the ‘Derry Journal’ and with a special Mass tonight in St Columb’s Church, Waterside.
His great grandchild Joe Cauley revealed how Charlie O’Doherty was originally from Ardmore and had married Mary Ann Steen who was originally from Burt.
The couple moved to Scotland where they had four of their eight children.
When they returned to Derry they lived at the Top of the Hill and had four more children.
“In the 1901 census he called himself O’Doherty, but in 1911 he changed it to Doherty,” said Joe.
“At one point all eight of his children were married and living in the Waterside.
“Cahir was a fine musician and well known for handmaking beautiful violins. I still have one of these violins.”
Mr. O’Doherty had 53 grandchildren in total, two of them still reside in Derry - Lily Harkin and Marion McTernan.
He lived for some time in Benvarden Avenue before moving to Violet Street with his daughter, Aggie Fitzpatrick where he passed away at the age of 75.
Joe still has a clipping of Charlie’s death notice printed in the ‘Derry Journal’ of the time, which simply stated that he died in Violet Street at an advanced age. It was when Joe’s son was looking through the ‘Derry Journal’ at the anniversary pages that Joe who now lives in Holywood, County Down decided to mark the 100th anniversary in a special way.
“We’re hoping as many relations as possible will come to the Mass tonight,” he said.
“We will have a folk group singing at the Mass.
“I wonder what Charles would have thought at so many of his family talking about him and remembering him, one hundred years after his death.
“And his legacy lives on - seven of his eight children had boys and now each family either has a Cahir or a Charles.”
Mr. O’Doherty has descendants ranging in name from Fitzpatrick, O’Doherty, Mailey, Morgan, Cauley, O’Boyle, and Bradley.
It is hoped that a large group of the family will come along for the Mass tonight at 7.30 p.m. in St Columb’s Chapel Waterside.
All are welcome.