Late editor 'populist, but never cheap'


FORMER EDITOR of the Irish IndependentVincent (Vinnie) Doyle was “the magnificent chronicler of his times”, his friend and former colleague Michael Brophy said at the late editor’s funeral Mass in Dublin yesterday.

“From his editor’s chair,although he was seldom in it, he watched as six taoisigh rose and fell; as popes came and went; as divorce and abortion debates split the nation, and as once great names were hauled before tribunals,” said Mr Brophy, who is chief executive of Independent News Media (Northern Ireland).

Mr Doyle (72) died last Tuesday at the Blackrock Clinic in Dublin,following a short illness. He had been editor of the Irish Independent from 1981 until 2005.

Mr Brophy told an overflowing congregation at the Church of the Annunciation in Dublin’s Rathfarnham that Mr Doyle “summarised complex political and financial stories in two or three words” and nurtured “great journalistic talent”.

Populist “but never cheap”, he “knew what the people of middle Ireland were thinking, often long before they did”. He “should have spent more time with us but we’re grateful for what time we got”, Mr Brophy said.

Garret Doyle said his father was not stereotypical. His “generosity of word and action was boundless and quietly understated”.

He was “a giant of a father to Conor, Vinny and I, and a soul-mate and loving husband to Gertie, our gentle and ever-patient mother”.

Mr Doyle was buried after the Mass at Kilmashogue Cemetery, Edmonstown Road.

Chief mourners were his wife Gertrude and sons Garret, Conor and Vinny. President Mary McAleese was represented at the funeral Mass by Capt Murt Larkin and Taoiseach Brian Cowen by Cmdt Mick Treacy.

Among those in attendance were former taoiseach Albert Reynolds, MEP Mairéad McGuinness, former government press secretaries PJ Mara and Joe Jennings, and current deputy Government press secretary John Downing.

Also there were Sir Anthony O’Reilly, president emeritus Independent News & Media (INM); IN&M board non-executive chairman Brian Hillery, and managing editor of Independent Newspapers Michael Denieffe.

The National Union of Journalists was represented by Irish secretary Séamus Dooley, while the National Newspapers of Ireland were represented by co-ordinating director Frank Cullen.

Among the many journalists present were Irish Independenteditor Gerry O’Regan, Sunday Worldeditor Colm McGinty, Stareditor Ger Colleran, Sunday Tribuneeditor Noirín Hegarty and managing editor at the Irish Daily MailPaul Drury. The Irish Timeswas represented by managing editor Eoin McVey.