Doherty

Doherty

his name is still very much connected with Co. Donegal in north-west Ireland and is one of the oldest hereditary surnames in the country. In Irish, the name means obstructive. The Dohertys are descended from one of the eight sons of Niall of the Nine Hostages, who ruled at Tara at the beginning of the fifth century. The present head of the clan and the 37th Doherty chieftain is Dr Ramón Salvador O'Doherty, who lives in Cadiz in southern Spain.

Despite the name being so common in Donegal, ruins associated with the clan are somewhat sparse. However, in Buncrana, the keep still remains of the castle built c. 1430 by the O Doherty clan. The castle was burnt by the English in 1602 when the Irish chieftain, Hugh Boy O'Doherty, was preparing to welcome an armada from Spain.

Among the famous Dohertys was John Doherty, from Buncrana, the most renowned trade union leader in early 19th-century Britain. He founded the National Association of United Trades for the Protection of Labour, a forerunner of the Trades Union Congress in Britain.