Tragedy as Irishman, 60s, drowns alongside teenager in same area as his father 40 years ago

Tragedy as Irishman, 60s, drowns alongside teenager in same area as his father 40 years ago

A MAN who died in a double-drowning tragedy off Co. Donegal this week lost his life in the same area as his father almost four decades ago.

Gerry 'Malin' Doherty, who was in his 60s, drowned after his boat capsized off Malin Head on Tuesday afternoon.

Thomas Weir, 16, from Edinburgh, also drowned in the same tragedy.

A third man, Dessie Keenan - a relative of the teen aged in his late 40s - was rescued by Malin Head Coast Guard after clinging to a buoy for a number of hours.

It has now emerged that Mr Doherty's father, Paddy 'Malin' Doherty, died when he slipped and fell off rocks in the same area in 1979.

Local musicians from the Dooagh Pipe Bane paid a heartfelt tribute to the families.

"Dooagh Pipe Band wish to express our deepest condolences to the Weir, Gielty and Doherty families following the tragic deaths of Thomas Weir and Gerry Doherty in Donegal," a spokesperson said.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. May they rest in peace."

In a tribute posted on Facebook, a family friend wrote: "Can’t believe what I’ve just been told. Taken far too soon."

A friend of Thomas Weir, who grew up in Scotland but had been living in Derry, added: "RIP dude. Taken way too soon."


It is believed that the 16ft cabin cruiser vessel involved in the accident, which Mr Doherty owned, lost engine power shortly after leaving Port Ronan pier at around 8.50am on Tuesday.

The group are believed to have been less than a kilometre out to sea at the time.

The alarm was not raised until shortly before 4pm when people living on the coast heard cries for help and alerted Malin Head Coast Guard, who rushed to the scene.

Thomas, who was wearing a life-jacket, was the first taken to be taken from the water before being rushed to Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry, where he was later pronounced dead.

The tragic teen's relative Mr Keenan was spotted shortly afterwards clinging to a fishing buoy. He was also brought to Altnagelvin Hospital, but has since been released.

The body of Mr Doherty was spotted by a local woman on a rocky outcrop near Malin Head shortly before 6pm.

He was pronounced dead at the scene by a local doctor after first responders carried his body up to the roadway.

Both Gardaí and the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) are investigating the cause of the tragedy.

Gardaí confirmed the boat involved had been recovered and would be examined by investigators.