A man has written an emotional letter to the photographer responsible for taking a picture of his late father and said the international recognition the image received was one of the highlights of his dad’s life.
Derrick Doran thanked Peter Varga, the photographer behind the Humans of Dublin Facebook page, for including his father Bill in his collection of photographs and revealed that people from around the world got in contact with him because his story had touched them.
In a letter posted to the Humans of Dublin Facebook page Derrick wrote: “A little while ago you took a photo of my dad sitting on a bench in Dun Laoghaire and he told you about his wife and his cherry tomatoes. His name was Bill Doran. I'm afraid he passed away peacefully on Sunday.
“I just would like to let you know he loved what happened from the photo you took and the piece you wrote about him. People from all over the world commented on it, ex neighbours living in Australia commented on it and he loved it. It was one of the highlights of his life. He's been on TV, radio and in the newspapers,” the letter read.
The grieving son thanked the photographer for having such a positive impact on his late father’s life.
“He was an icon well known in Rathmines, and everybody loved him and we were all very proud of him too.
“Thank you for making a big part of his life so special,” he said.
In July 2015, Derrick’s father Bill trended internationally when he opened up about his heartbreak after losing his wife.
“In the back garden we used to grow tomato plants, but she died about 18 months ago so I stopped growing them. She was a month younger than me, and I was surprised that she passed away before me, so I was just waiting for my turn,” said Bill at the time.
“A few months later my neighbours arrived with a box of tomato plants, about 12 little sprouts, and said they’re not giving up on me… They’re about 16 inches high now, and the tomatoes are beautiful on them.”