Mel Doherty compères the Cavan Christmas Dash on St Stephen’s Day in 2019.Photo: Lorraine Teevan

Condolences to Doherty family

Tributes were paid to the late Mel Doherty at the September monthly meeting of Cavan County Council.

The larger-than-life individual and raconteur was lauded by councillors for his legacy of contribution to the arts in Cavan, and well as many other aspects of community life.

Fine Gael’s Madeleine Argue described Mr Doherty, who sadly passed away towards the end of August, as “a character, a lovely man. If there was anything worth doing, he was doing it.”

His death was a “loss to Cavan”, she said, remembering the remarkable number of people who arrived to attend the launch of his memoir at Cavan’s Townhall during Cavan Calling.

Fianna Fáil’s Patricia Walsh recalled, as a child, the pantomimes and the role Mr Doherty would play in them. “He was a great man to entertain.”

Outside of the arts, Cllr John Paul Feeley recognised Mr Doherty as having been “highly involved in charity”.

He said there were “no airs nor graces” about Mr Doherty.

There were tributes too from Independent Cllr Brendan Fay, from Fine Gael’s TP O’Reilly and Carmel Brady, and from Peter McVitty who said he knew Mr Doherty for over 35 years when he had the local businessman do sign writing on his fleet of lorries.

He noted that Mr Doherty was always obliging for events taking place. “They’re not making them like him any more. He was a gentleman.”

Cllr Trevor Smith agreed, and the sentiments were shared also by council Cathaoirleach, Philip Brady, who concluded the tributes by describing Mr Doherty as “a great showman”.