Paddy Doran — R.I.P.

Posted in: Paddy Doran
By Peter Purfield
Jun 28, 2021 - 9:54:29 AM

Paddy with his family in among the crowds at the Kelloggs Professional criterium at Dublin Castle

Paddy at the start of the Ras Tailteann in 2001, a race he trained many riders for, many of them went on to win stages and some went on to win the overall
It’s with great sadness to announce the death of Paddy Doran, he was a true stalwart of Irish cycling. Paddy suffered a medical emergency in his home and passed away a short time later Beaumont Hospital on Saturday morning.

I got the news on Saturday afternoon and I’m still in shock. I have known Paddy for over 40 years, he was a wealth of knowledge in cycling, he was a pioneer of coaching and training athletes to levels above their own beliefs, he was a great motivator, he had endless energy and always looking do more for the sport, he was a great friend and above all he was a great family man.

Paddy coaching experience goes back to the early 70s when Paddy, Noel Hammond and Noel O’Neill were coaching a group of young lads in the Orwell Wheelers, a lot of very successful riders came out of that group, including Stephen Roche who went to the top of World cycling. In 1979 when Roche won the Ras Tailteann, Paddy was part of the management team.

I first met Paddy In 1974 when he came along to give a coaching talk to our club (Les Junes CC) in Ballymun, he was inspirational and the results afterwards spoke for themselves. I am sure many other clubs and people have experienced the same. As time went by, I moved from competitive cycling into management (I’m being polite there more like ‘dogs body’) and ended up going on several teams with Paddy, we hit it off straight away (Paddy was great company).

Here's a picture from 1985 Franco-Belge stage race where Paddy was the masseur for the Irish team seen here with Peter Stewart.
We were on many races together, but I’ll talk about one that we were on with the Ireland team in the 1983 Tour de l'Avenir. This was the amateur ‘Tour de France’, Paddy was masseur, I was mechanic and John McCarthy (Bray) manager. In comparison to Ireland this was racing on another level, Paddy was in his element, it was savage racing, really tough stages and the accommodation left a lot to be desired. We didn’t mind, it was the same for everybody, the atmosphere was fantastic and an incredible experience. In those days the teams travelled to races over land by car, train and boat, otherwise Paddy wouldn’t have been there as he would not go by plane.

Away from cycling, Paddy lived Baldoyle and loved going out to Howth either walking or cycling. I met him several times and walked around the cliff walk with him, he loved nature and later in life he took up photography and amassed a collection of great photographs. He worked all his life in An Post and retired about 8 years ago, he was not one for lounging around and even in his later years continued helping people in their sports.

His life spanned several decades, in the 60’s and 70’s he was a successful racing cyclist, then got involved in coaching in the 70’s, he became the benchmark for cycle coaching in Ireland and creating a path for high performance, a sector in which he continued up to the present day. He was a past member of the board of Cycling Ireland for many years starting in the late 90’s.

This article only cover snippets of Paddy's involvement in sport, the success of our top cyclists with international aspirations depends on people like Paddy Doran, operating in the background, sometimes they are the unsung hero's.

With the Covid lockdown I didn’t get to see him much in recent years, but bumped into him with his daughter Laura a couple of months ago, he was in great spirits. I had intended giving him a visit during the ‘Tour de France’ knowing you could guarantee he’d be watching it. Sadly that’s not to be.

I would like to offer my condolences to his wife Anne, his sons Stephen and Richard and his daughters Louise and Laura, as well as his extended family.

I’ll end by saying, in interviews, you might see a question ‘Who would you like to sit down to dinner with’ some might say, Sean Kelly, Chris Froom, Tadej Pogacar.... well I’d answer ‘Paddy Doran’

Paddy you will be sadly missed.

Your friend Peter.



Over the years Paddy was at the forefront at highlighting the importance of training and preparation for racing at all levels. He published a number of books on the subject and also wrote many articles for this website. I have resurrected those articles and now they can be viewed by clicking the link below.