The following extracts are taken from Brian Cowen’s graveside oration last Friday afternoon.
“He epitomised all that was good in our party. He was a man of great directness, a man who wouldn’t be too happy if there was too much said and a man who spoke when things needed to be said.
“Michael was one of Albert’s men throughout his career and a great mainstay to him. Michael Doherty, for me when I started in politics in the mid 80s, was always a very impressive man.
“At a time when there was a lot of concern among our people, Michael Doherty provided a great deal of local leadership, he always stood with his people and represented them ably. He had that ability to stretch the hand of friendship beyond his own political family and made sure that his door was always open. That is the responsibility of all politicians.
“He was passionate. I remember him on many occasions. On one such time he used to give me a bit of a jibe because at that stage the Disadvantaged Area Scheme was under review and he used to talk about himself as being a slightly handicapped man from a severely handicapped area.
“I always found Michael to be pleasant and to give advice nice and quietly and he instructed me to be a bit more mellow, but all of that was about encouragement. What I always found about Mickey Doherty was that he was an encouraging person, whatever he was involved in he encouraged others. It was never about his own ego or own problems. Whether it was his work for the underprivileged, as a councillor, as an activist or indeed as an organiser in the county itself, the Fianna Fail party owes a great debt of gratitude to Mickey Doherty for those many and consistent years of service he gave.”