Lives Remembered

Johnny Doran: My beloved son loved music and the rhythm of life

MY beloved son Johnny Doran loved life, he loved music and he loved the rhythm of life.

He was a brilliant musician, and enjoyed nothing more than late-night jam sessions at his home in Newry.

Sometimes when I returned home after a gig with the Hilton Showband in Belfast or Dublin, I might find himself and Henry McCullough or maybe Rory Gallagher playing away - often Beatles tunes played perfectly.

I was lucky to get any sleep, and would leave the next day with Johnny Be Goode or Walk of Life still ringing in my ears.

Johnny had always wanted to be a musician, growing up in Shandon Park with guitars and music always in the house.

He loved all sports too, playing football at Newry High School and for the Northern Ireland schoolboys.

He was the best of a fellow, and a good looking guy.

Not long before his death, Johnny was learning a lovely Phil Coulter arrangement of the traditional tune Buachaill ón Éirne.

On the night that he died, I lifted up a guitar and sat down beside him and played it with him.

Never in a million years did I think that the next time that I would play that tune would be over his body the following day. I cried all the way through but I felt I had to do it.

Johnny was a very popular, intelligent man, and our beautiful memories of him will never die.

He is now buried up at St Patrick's Church, overlooking the town he loved so well.

When I think of my son now, I am reminded of the Shay Healy song with its line "And maybe we will meet again, when you become stardust too."

Jonathan Doran died of a massive heart attack at the age of 48 on January 2. He is survived by his parents Mickey and Joan, brothers Michael and Gavin and sisters Nicola and Catherine.

Mickey Doran

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Lives Remembered