Pat Doherty

For other people named Patrick Doherty, see Patrick Doherty (disambiguation).
For the English boxer of the 1980s, see Pat Doherty (boxer).
Pat Doherty
Vice President of Sinn Féin
In office
President Gerry Adams
Succeeded by Mary Lou McDonald
Member of Parliament
for West Tyrone
Assumed office
7 June 2001
Preceded by William Thompson
Majority 10,685 (28.7%)
Member of the Northern Ireland Assembly
for West Tyrone
In office
25 June 1998  June 2012
Preceded by new office
Succeeded by Declan McAleer
Personal details
Born (1945-07-18) 18 July 1945
Glasgow, Scotland
Nationality Irish
Political party Sinn Féin
Website Pat Doherty MP

Patrick Doherty (born 18 July 1945) is an Irish Sinn Féin politician, currently the abstentionist Member of Parliament for West Tyrone. He was a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly for the Assembly constituency of the same name from June 1998 to June 2012. Doherty served as Vice President of Sinn Féin[1] from 1988 to 2009, when Mary Lou McDonald became the party's new Vice President.[2]

Political career

Doherty was born in Glasgow; his parents were from County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland. He moved to Donegal in 1968, shortly before the Troubles broke out across the Irish border. He has been an abstentionist Sinn Féin Member of Parliament of the British parliament for West Tyrone since 2001, as well as a member of the Northern Ireland Assembly from the 1998 elections until 2012. He has also stood for election in the Republic of Ireland, in the constituency of Donegal North-East in 1989, 1996 (a by-election) and 1997, and also in the Connacht–Ulster constituency in the EU elections in 1989 and 1994.[3]

In May 2002, using parliamentary privilege, Ulster Unionist Party MP David Burnside named Doherty as a member of the IRA Army Council.[4]

Personal life

According to The Times Guide to the House of Commons, Pat Doherty is married with three daughters and two sons, was educated at St Joseph's College, Lochwinnoch, and is a site engineer who likes building stone walls.[5] He is the brother of former Provisional IRA member Hugh Doherty, known for his involvement in the Balcombe Street siege.[6]

Over a two-and-a-half-year period Doherty spent £16,000 on printer cartridges, an amount that he admitted was "probably excessive".[7]

In 2012, to some surprise, Doherty supported funding for a loyalist flute band in Castlederg. He praised the band in the application for reaching out to "all sections of the community".[8] The band had sought support for its funding application from a community group who then, unbeknownst to the band, reached out to Doherty. A spokesman for the band, whose website features a song commemorating deceased Ulster Volunteer Force killer Brian Robinson, distanced themselves from the application, claiming the band were unaware of Doherty's support and did not want it. He added that "The band harbours nothing but contempt for Irish republicanism and its attacks on their community". Four of the band's members were killed by the IRA.[9]


  1. Fermanagh and South Tyrone 1998
  2. "Doherty stands down in reshuffle". BBC News. 8 January 2009. Retrieved 21 May 2010.
  3. "Pat Doherty MP". Sinn Féin. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  4. "House of Commons Hansard Debates for 26 May 2002 (pt 8)". House of Commons. 26 May 2002. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  5. The Times Guide to the House of Commons 2010, Times Books
  6. "Balcombe Street gang to be freed". BBC. 9 April 1999. Retrieved 2007-03-27.
  7. "The Journal - SF politician runs up £16k bill on printer toner cartridges (yes, again)". The Journal. Retrieved 23 August 2012.
  8. "Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty backed loyalist band cash bid" BBC News 30 August 2012
  9. "Flute band shocked by SF support" The Newsletter 3 September 2012
Party political offices
Preceded by
John Joe McGirl
Vice-President of Sinn Féin
Succeeded by
Mary Lou McDonald
Northern Ireland Assembly
Preceded by
New creation
MLA for West Tyrone
Succeeded by
Declan McAleer
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
William Thompson
Member of Parliament for West Tyrone
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