POIGNANT Flowers left at the scene of the accident in which Mr Doherty lost his life. Pic: Paul Mealey
Road traffic victim a ‘huge loss’ to the community
The village of Mulranny has lost a ‘good friend and a great citizen’ following the death of local man Pádraig Doherty in a road traffic accident on Sunday evening.
The west Mayo community was in mourning yesterday as news of the tragic death spread. Mr Doherty (64) was killed in a single vehicle road traffic collision at approximately 7pm on Sunday evening.
Mr Doherty, of Geáta, Mulranny, was travelling along the N59 in the direction of Ballycroy, and was approximately 1km from Mulranny when the accident occurred at Doughill, Mulranny. It is understood that the vehicle left the road and entered the water, close to the local fish farm.
The married father of two was pronounced dead at the scene. One of his children, a 12-year-old boy, was a passenger in the car, and he was brought to Mayo University Hospital with what were described as ‘minor injuries’.
Mr Doherty was well-known member of the community, and his family has been involved in all aspects of community life. His younger brother, Tom, and his family run the local Costcutter store and filling station and Doherty’s pub in the heart of the village.
The deceased lived in Mulranny all his life and was married to Maura (nee Cawley) from Westport. Local GP and former TD Dr Jerry Cowley described the couple as ‘soul mates’. They have two sons, Liam and Seán.
Dr Cowley also said that the community had been plunged into sadness and incredulity. “The place is in a daze this afternoon … Nobody can quite believe what has happened,” Dr Cowley told The Mayo News on Monday afternoon.
“Pádraig was such a large part of the village and involved in everything worthwhile in the community. It is an awful tragedy to befall the family, and I offer my deepest sympathies to Maura and the boys. It has been really is hard for everyone to deal with the news.”
Mr Doherty worked in construction and was involved in the local fish farm located close to the scene of the accident. Dr Cowley said he was always willing to share his expertise for the community’s good. He said that Mr Doherty was very helpful in St Brendan’s Village residential care units in Mulranny.
“Whenever we were carrying out any renovations, his advice was invaluable. There was no need for a computer with Pádraig – everything was in his head. He was a very talented man.
“Pádraig was softly spoken and not loud, but when he spoke people listened. Everyone has lost a friend and Mulranny has lost a great citizen. His death is a huge loss to his family and to the wider community,” he said.
Local councillor Michael Holmes said the village was numb with sadness and it was hard to come to terms with what happened.
“I was talking to Pádraig yesterday morning outside Mulranny Church. He was collecting for the Community Games. That just sums up the type of man he was, he was a great community man.
“The community is in total shock at the moment. He was a great member of the community. It is hard to believe something like this has happened to Pádraig. He was always so careful and always did everything right. We all take risks at times, but Pádraig didn’t. He was that type of guy,” Cllr Holmes said, adding he wished to offer his condolences to his wife, Maura, and their sons and extended family.
Mr Doherty was also an active member of the Westport Aror Partnership for over 30 years and had spent over six months in Kenya in the early 1990s building staff quarters for the local hospital.
Chairman of the Westport Aror Partnership Michael O’Donnell said Mr Doherty was an invaluable member who will be sadly missed.
“We are distraught and saddened to hear of Pádraig’s tragic death. He was such a good person, whose advice and wisdom was invaluable to us. He spent between six and eight months building the staff quarters for the hospital in Aror and also trained some of the local people while he was there.
“He had great knowledge and I would describe him as a sage for us. He had a great philosophy in life and was someone we would always look to for advice. His death is an awful tragedy. He did so much good for Aror and he has left behind a great legacy,” he told The Mayo News.
Following the accident, the N59 was closed overnight to allow An Garda Síochána perform a technical examination of the scene. While the road was closed, traffic for Erris was diverted through Glenhest near Newport until it reopened around 11am on Monday morning.
Mr Doherty’s body was removed to Mayo University Hospital where a postmortem to determine the cause of death was carried out.
Pádraig Doherty is survived by his wife, Maura; sons, Liam and Seán; brothers, Tom and Seán (Mulranny), Liam (Guernsey) and sister, Maura (Westport). Funeral arrangements had not been announced at the time of going to print.