Northern Ireland

Funeral of Buncrana man who died in Paris in May takes place on Christmas Eve

Journalist, Cahir O'Doherty (left) posted a poignant picture of himself and his late brother, Conor when they were growing up in Buncrana

A Co Donegal man who died in Paris in May will be buried in his native Buncrana on Christmas Eve.

Conor O’Doherty, who was in his fifties, will be buried in a family plot following Requiem Mass at St Mary’s Church, Cockhill (11am) on Saturday. A member of a well-known family in his native Buncrana, Mr O’Doherty grew up at The Lodge, Cahir O’Doherty Avenue in the town.

His ashes were returned to Donegal on Friday evening following a protracted identification process in Paris. Mr O’Doherty’s brother, well-known journalist Cahir O’Doherty, travelled to Paris to finalise the arrangements for bringing his brother home.

Mr O’Doherty said he found out about his brother’s death when he was contacted by a Garda liaison officer in Washington DC. He was told a body had been found and it was believed it was his younger brother.

In a detailed thread on X, Mr O’Doherty said his brother had mental health issues. He said that identification and French bureaucracy led to the seven-month delay in bringing his brother home.

In a heart-breaking post, Mr O’Doherty said: “If you loved him you’ll remember his laugh, his playfulness, his talent and more. He was so smart. He was so sensitive. I have spent this week being rattled by a deep sadness. He began so well, why did it have to come to this?”

Mr O’Doherty, who works as a journalist in New York, said his brother’s mental health issues impacted on those closest to him.

He said on X: “It’s so sad to me that he drove so many good people out of his life. But I am often reminded that mental illness can hurt the victim as much – and often far more – than the people who are on the receiving end of it.”

Donegal Fianna Fáil councillor, Rena Donaghey said she knew Mr O’Doherty well when he was young.

“I worked with his father, the late Willie O’Doherty. Conor was a lovely, lovely person. His mother, Mary, died when he was just a baby and he had his brothers, Cahir and Sean. He still has wider family in Buncrana.

“I knew him terribly well from when he was a child. He and his family were very well liked and respected in Buncrana. It so sad,” Ms Donaghey said.