Eamonn Doherty is a native of Buncrana, Co. Donegal. He joined An Garda Síochána in 1943 rising through the ranks to the position of Garda Commissioner (chief of Ireland’s police force) in 1987. On his retirement from the Gardaí Eamonn represented Ireland on a European anti-drugs task force for a period of six years. He has also chaired an independent arbitration panel overseeing the drinks industry’s code of practice, adjudicating on complaints from the public.
In addition to his many public duties he is patron of The Irish Amateur Boxing Association. Eamonn’s first introduction to lifesaving was during his time as President of the Garda Training College when he introduced lifesaving to the curriculum of all Garda trainees.
He was appointed chairperson of the Royal Life Saving Society Ireland Region (overseeing the activities of the RLSS Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland Branches) in the early 1980’s, while Assistant Garda Commissioner, and continued in this role on his promotion to Deputy Commissioner and Commissioner until the RLSS was restructured in the early 1990’s. Serving police officers perform over 20 swimming rescues annually saving many lives. He chairs the Irish Marine Gallantry and Meritorious Service Award body.
In Irish rescue circles Eamonn is best known for his chairing of The Doherty Commission which studied Ireland’s Air Sea Rescue Service, producing the Doherty Report which led to the transfer of this rescue service from the Irish Air Corp to The Irish Coast Guard. A consequence of this was the stationing of a rescue helicopters at a number of regional airports in place of the previously Dublin centralized rescue service.