Robert McKee with his Grandson Howard and Howard’s sister.

1850 – Present Day

Our portrait of the Doyles starts with James Doyle Senior who was born in 1841 and his children, and continues to his Great Grandson Gerry Doyle and his children who have found their place in the seafaring world also.
James Doyle was registered in 1869 as a part owner along with a Mr G. Gordon of the ‘Snowdrop’, a schooner registered in Newry. James used his business acumen and seafaring knowledge to good effect and by the 1880’s he had established a bakery and a general store in Kilkeel while running schooners in the transport of Granite and Coal over and across the Irish Sea.
This prestigious beginning set the foundations for a Doyle Clan that would be involved in many different strands of maritime. James Doyle Junior owned Schooners and it was in this way that many of his nephews cut their seafaring teeth.
Life on sea is rarely plain sailing and the exploits of Gerry Doyle, now retired will illustrate perfectly how close a seaman is to ruin at any one time.
Just as a seaman needs a good crew at sea, on the shore a vital supporting role is played by a man’s family. Our interviews investigate the vital support fishermen and seamen received while at shore, and will profile the members of these families who did not go to sea, but were very much affected by this way of life.