Saturday 20 October 2018

Hundreds gather to mourn media legend

Fergus Black

HUNDREDS of friends and colleagues from the media world turned out yesterday to mourn the passing of former Irish Independent Editor Vinnie Doyle, who was described as a legend and a colossus.

A huge gathering of friends, former colleagues and media representatives joined his family to pay their last respects to Mr Doyle at his funeral Mass in the Church of the Annunciation in Rathfarnham, Dublin.

Mourners were told that for nearly three decades, Mr Doyle became "the magnificent chronicler of his times" and was a man of extraordinary presence and "unbridled skill".

The former Editor was a legend, a colossus and was kind, generous, extraordinary and modest, Michael Brophy, Chief Executive of Independent News & Media (Northern Ireland), said in a tribute to his lifelong friend.


"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."

Papers he edited relived the horrors of bombings in the crowded streets of Dublin, the mangled wrecks of crashed trains in Cork and images of detectives laying siege to a house in Co Kildare where a Dutch industrialist was being held at gunpoint.

"He was populist but never cheap and he cared for his readers. He also cared for those around him and grew great journalistic talent from tiny seeds he planted and nurtured," said Mr Brophy.

Once behind his desk he had a consistent intuition for what his public wanted from a newspaper and an unerring ability to deliver it to them.

"He was never a newspaper snob and always felt that populism was one way in which readers could be attracted and reached. He knew what the people of middle Ireland were thinking, often long before they did."

Mr Brophy added: "He should have spent more time with us but we're grateful for what time we got."

In a moving tribute to his father, Garret Doyle described him as "an Olympian, a herculean, a giant of a father" to him and his brothers, Conor and Vinny.

He was also a soulmate and loving husband to Gertie, their gentle and ever-patient mother.

"Gertie, Conor, Vinny and I and his wider family are all grateful to have been a part of his wonderful life," said Mr Doyle.

"I hope that if we all leave this church with a mild sprinkle of Dad's strength, generosity, modesty and dignity we will be better prepared for anything this life may throw at us."

Fr Martin Noone, administrator, who celebrated the Requiem Mass, said Vinnie Doyle was "indeed a true Christian man".

He told mourners they came as a parish community and as work colleagues and friends to join with Vinnie's family in their sad loss. The family were appreciative of the many column inches that had been written about him but they were also very much aware of the kind of man he was away from work.

He was an intensely private man, a family man and a devoted father and grandfather and in the many different ways he lived his private and public life he was loyal to all of them.

Mr Doyle is survived by his wife Gertie, sons Garret, Conor, Vinny, daughters -in-law Angie and Marion and his five grandchildren, Helen, Hannah, Claire, Tilly and Vincent Edward.

Irish Independent

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