Grieving daughter tells of father's last loving words as man arrested over death
The devastated daughter of a Coleraine man whose death is being treated as suspicious has said his last words to her were that he loved her "up the sky, past God".
An area of the Harpurs Hill estate in the Co Londonderry town was sealed off yesterday as police attended the house where the body of the deceased - Colin Doherty - was discovered.
A 25-year-old man has been arrested.
Last night Mr Doherty's daughter Colleen said that her father, who was in his 60s, had been a hero to her.
"Anyone who knew my daddy knew how much he was a good man," she wrote on Facebook.
"He liked a drink but he was harmless.
"He would have given you the shirt off his back to make you warmer.
"My daddy was my hero.
"He protected me for years and told me non stop how much he loved me. The last words he said to me before this nightmare began was that he loved me up the sky, past God.
"Many of my friends who knew him knew this was one of his regular one-liners. I know you're flying high with the angels now daddy, and I know how much you loved us all."
It's understood Mr Doherty is a grandfather, and is also survived by a son, John.
The dead man's mother is believed to live nearby.
Police said the body was found in the two-storey terraced dwelling at Silverthorn Avenue.
The PSNI last night said it was investigating the circumstances surrounding the death, which is being treated as suspicious.
Police received a report of the death just after 12.30pm yesterday.
The PSNI said the man arrested was detained in the Coleraine area just after 5.30pm.
DUP councillor Trevor Clarke said: "I understand the man lived here for the best part of 30 years.
"He is described as a harmless individual. The community is in shock.
"He was a well-known character in the local community.
"This is a very quiet estate."
Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald said: "The news of the sudden death of this man has caused great distress in the local community."
Stunned neighbours spoke of their disbelief. Jacqueline McDonald (58) told the Belfast Telegraph: "It is a big shock that something like this has happened."
Another neighbour, who did not wish to be named, said: "I was very fond of him. He was a nice wee man.
"My husband died earlier this year and I can understand what his family will be going through.
"I knew him to see going up and down. I would have said hello and he would have said hello back. This is such a huge shock. He took a wee drink, but there was no harm in him."
Another neighbour said: "He was a good man. I cannot take it in.
"He always would have had a yarn with me when he walked by. He was very kind, this is awful."
by nevin farrell