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26 May 2013

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Video – Dublin tributes to pub bomb hero Martin Doherty

Doco’s actions in stopping the bombing undoubtedly prevented 'carnage' at the packed function, a Garda superintendent interviewed on RTÉ News acknowledged

MARTIN ‘DOCO’ DOHERTY, a Dublin IRA Volunteer who was shot dead when he heroically thwarted a unionist UVF death squad planting a bomb at a packed Dublin pub on 21 May 1994, was honoured in his home area of Finglas on Saturday.

Family, friends and comrades were particularly appreciative of the presence of the Volunteer Martin ‘Doco’ Doherty Republican Flute Band from Glasgow joining the Phoenix Rising Republican Flute Band from Dublin for a series of tribute events to the dedicated republican who fearlessly gave his life to save so many others.

Ex-Councillor Nicky Kehoe chaired the main commemoration and Dublin Sinn Féin’s Daithí Doolan was the keynote speaker.

Among the elected representatives present were Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald TD, Dessie Ellis TD, Councillor Anthony Connaghan, Councillor Mícheál Mac Donncha, Councillor Críona Ní Dhálaigh, Councillor Máire Devine and Councillor Larry O’Toole.

•  Mark Moloney writes:

MARTIN DOHERTY was born on 11 July 1958 and grew up in Finglas, Dublin, with his five brothers and six sisters. A father of two, he was a keen GAA footballer and he played soccer for his local Dunsink club.

Known as ‘Doco’ to his friends, he joined the Irish Republican Army following the 1981 Hunger Strikes.

An active Volunteer with the Dublin Brigade he was arrested in 1982, having been set up by a Garda informant. Released in 1988, he worked as a labourer and charged in England with IRA offences but was later released due to lack of evidence. Doco returned to Ireland and rejoined his comrades in the Dublin Brigade.

On 21 May 1994, Doco was doing security for a function of the Sinn Féin POW Department at the Widow Scallan’s pub on Pearse Street, Dublin, when a UVF death squad approached.

One of the men was carrying a holdall bag, which contained a bomb. Doco challenged the gang, forcing them to abandon the partially-primed 18lb device. The unionist death squad members opened fire and shot Doco through the heart and again as he fell to the ground. Another man was shot and wounded through the door.

Doco’s actions in stopping the bombing undoubtedly prevented a massacre at the packed function. Garda Superintendent Brian O’Higgins said at the time:

“There would have been carnage if it had gone off in the licensed premises. The pub was pretty crowded at the time.”

Doco’s funeral was attended by thousands of republicans. The military guard of honour he received prompted Fine Gael leader John Bruton to make begrudging comments in the Dáil about the heroic actions of the brave Volunteer.

Doco is buried in the family plot in Glasnevin Cemetery.

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