Former Justice Minister Seán Doherty laid to rest

Fri, Jun 10, 2005, 01:00

The former Minister for Justice, Mr Seán Doherty was buried in Ardcarne cemetery in Co Roscommon this morning after a funeral mass at St Michael's Church in his native Cootehall.

Mr Doherty's daughter Rachel was given a round of applause during the funeral mass when she paid tribute to her father, who died after he took ill in Donegal at the weekend.

He is survived by his wife, Maura, and his daughters, Evelyn, Leah, Cara and Rachel, who was elected as a Roscommon county councillor last year.

The former Taoiseach Mr Albert Reynolds, the Minister for Defence Mr Willie O’Dea, the Minister for Finance Mr Brian Cowen,  and the Minister for Community Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Mr Éamon Ó Cuív, were in attendence. 

Mr Doherty will be best known for dramatically ending the political career of then-taoiseach Charles Haughey in 1992. Mr Doherty claimed that Mr Haughey knew about the controversial phone-tapping of two newspaper journalists a decade earlier.

Born in Roscommon in 1944, Mr Doherty served as a detective in Sligo and with the special branch in Dublin before entering local politics in 1973.

He was elected to the Dáil for the old Roscommon-Leitrim constituency in Fianna Fáil's landslide victory of 1977.

Mr Haughey made him Justice Minister in 1982, and he became involved in a number of scandals which later politically isolated him.

A skilled constituency operator, friends and colleagues knew him for his charm, intelligence and cynical sense of humour.

He retired from politics in 2002 and devoted his spare time to property interests and his family. He is survived by his wife and four daughters.