Brendan Doherty died at his home in Killea, Co. Donegal. Tenderly loved by his family, adored by his wife and children, admired by his friends, and esteemed by his colleagues, his untimely death comes as a great shock to everyone who knew him.
Brendan’s childhood was filled with music and sport. He sang in St Eugene’s Cathedral Boys choir and enjoyed performing in concerts and at the Derry Feis and Cork Choral Festival. His early talent for playing the clarinet was rekindled in recent years as his own children learned the instrument. He excelled at sports, playing football for the Model Primary School team and Gaelic for Doire Columcille GAC. Despite being the only candidate for the sacrament of confirmation at the Model Primary School, he won the prize for the best confirmation scrapbook in the diocese. Brendan’s affable nature won him countless school friends at St Columb’s College to whom he remained close his whole life. He was also well-liked by his teachers, whose reports describe a popular, well-mannered, and intelligent young man with the world at his feet. He matured into an avid sportsman and played in the senior school teams for Gaelic, soccer, golf, and basketball.
Brendan relished the challenges of learning and research. He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Ulster, a Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics and Computing. The most recent of his three Masters qualifications specialised in the areas of Machine Learning, Modelling, Artificial Intelligence, Fuzzy Logic, Image Analysis, and Deep Learning. He was frequently called to present his research findings at prestigious international conferences. His work as a scientist at the forefront of data analytics for the multinational company Seagate took him around the globe. He was valued by his workmates for his experience and expertise as he blazed new trails in business intelligence and automation, and equally valued for his outstanding collegiality. At work, he was first and foremost a teacher who used his experience as a lecturer at the North West Regional College to propagate his valuable research findings to a new generation of programmers.
For all this worldwide travel, he was a homebody at heart. He was always eager to return to the family farm in Ballybofey, Co. Donegal, where he loved nothing better than kicking a football across a freshly cut field. He loved to fish and even proposed to his wife at the most romantic place he could think of: the Salmon Leap on the River Finn. Barbecues were his speciality; he cherished watching his family gather on the grass outside the cottage, on baking hot summer days, as he piled up the flame-licked sausages and burgers amid clouds of charcoal smoke. He was strong enough to drive fence posts into hard ground and at time of his death, his parents were waiting to harness his bull-like strength to shift a cornerstone at the entrance to the long garden.
Brendan was the cornerstone of our family. He was in constant contact with everyone. Dropping in, checking up, making sure that we were all OK. He could be relied upon for anything and would have done anything for us. Our pillar of support is now gone, and in a time when we need it most. Brendan’s core was fundamentally being a family man. He lived for his children, Aodhán and Eden. He loved barbequing with Aodhán and baking with Eden. He made them homemade banana pancakes for breakfast every weekend and took them swimming every week.
He is survived by his parents Rosemary and Michael, brothers Seán and Eamonn, wife Miranda, and children Aodhán and Eden.