Taoiseach leads tributes to former Indo editor Doyle

HE was a courageous editor, ultra-competitive and above all had a commitment to core values.

These were some of the tributes paid to former editor of the Irish Independent, Vincent Doyle, 72, who died yesterday.

Journalists and politicians spoke of the long-serving editor’s attention to news gathering when he led the newspaper during changing times over almost 25 years.

Having began his newspaper career in 1958 when he joined the Irish Press, the Dublin man worked his way up through the industry before taking charge of the Irish Independent.

The Taoiseach yesterday said the former editor had “believed in getting the story and in getting it right”.

Brian Cowen added: “Vinnie Doyle was a legendary figure in Irish media, someone whose traditional commitment to news gathering and values won him the respect of his peers in journalism and beyond that in the worlds of politics, business and sport.”

After moving to the Independent Group in the 1960s, Mr Doyle became editor of the Evening Herald in 1977 and then editor of the Irish Independent in 1981, where he remained at the helm until late 2005.

Gerry O’Regan, who took over as editor, last night told RTÉ: “He kept it as a mass-selling paper and at the same time retained a quality readership.”

Tributes also came from senior political figures. Labour leader Eamon Gilmore said Mr Doyle had been a legendary figure in the newspaper industry but also greatly admired in the world of politics.

Independent Group business editor Brendan Keenan described how Mr Doyle had moved his way up, working in a newspaper library, as a copy boy and as a sub-editor before becoming an editor.

“He was ultra-competitive and newspapers are a rough old trade and if you got the rough end of Vinnie’s tongue, you knew about it but that was part of the excitement,” Mr Keenan told RTÉ.

Green Party leader John Gormley also paid tribute to the late editor and said that “’Vinnie Doyle’s Indo’ was often seen as the voice of middle Ireland.”

Gavin O’Reilly, chief executive of Independent News & Media, said: “Arguably, both loved and feared in equal measure, he was undoubtedly the outstanding newspaper editor of his generation.”

Mr Doyle is survived by his wife Gertie and three sons, Garret, Conor and Vincent Jnr.

His funeral will take place tomorrow at the Annunciation Church, Rathfarnham, Dublin.


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