Belfast Telegraph

Funeral takes place of well-known Belfast undertaker Hugh Dougal

The funeral well-known Belfast undertaker Hugh Dougal took place at St Brigid's Church on Wednesday.

Mr Dougal died in the Northern Ireland Hospice following a short illness.

Hugh Jnr (left) carries his fathers coffin with family and friends during the funeral of Hugh Dougal. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Hugh Jnr (left) carries his fathers coffin with family and friends during the funeral of Hugh Dougal. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 John Linehan during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Hugh Jnr (left) carries his fathers coffin with Family and Friends during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Family and Friends during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Alban Maginness during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Family and Friends during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Family and Friends during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Family and Friends during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Family and Friends during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Family and Friends during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Family and Friends during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Family and Friends during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Family and Friends during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 13/06/2018 Family and Friends during the Funeral of Hugh Dougal, during the funeral at St Brigid's Church, Derryvolgie Avenue in Belfast on Wednesday. Hugh Dougal, Proprietor of O'Kanes Funeral Directors, Belfast, Passed away peacefully 10th June surrounded by his loving family after a short illness, Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Considered by many to be Northern Ireland's best known undertaker, Mr Dougal was often seen on television and in newspapers as part of coverage of funerals during the Troubles.

Mr Dougal was the third generation of his family to be involved with the Belfast undertakers' firm of O'Kanes, was proprietor of the business.

Edward O'Kane founded the undertaker's firm in 1865 in Little Donegall Street. He lived where the present firm is located. The company was the first in Belfast to introduce motorised hearses in 1914. Mr Dougal's grandfather, who owned a transport and carrier business in the city, became a director of the company in the 1930s. The Dougals bought the firm in the 1940s.

Mr Dougal, the fifth generation son to bear the name Hugh, joined the company in 1964 as a mechanic before becoming involved in arranging funerals. At one stage he was president of the National Association of Funeral Directors. The firm now has three branches in the city.

He was present at Milltown Cemetery on that day in 1988 when Stone tried to kill leading Sinn Fein members attending an IRA funeral.

Mr Dougal, along with many mourners, was forced to dive for cover when Stone began shooting and lobbing grenades in the cemetery. Three people were killed and at least 50 hurt.

"Some people tried to get behind gravestones but I just hit the ground and lay there," he recalled.

Following the funeral Mr Dougal was laid to rest at at Our Lady's Cemetery, Hannahstown.

He is survived by his wife Frances, daughter Cathy and son Hugh, and six grandchildren.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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