Mr. Martin Doherty, from Garvary, yesterday (Wednesday) responded to the negative publicity surrounding the actor's role in the commercial for the Honda CR-V. One American columnist described it as "sick". The actor was driving his rented car in Fermanagh in October 1987 when it veered onto the other side of the Enniskillen to Tempo road and crashed into another car killing Mr. Doherty's mother, Mrs. Margaret Doherty and his sister, Mrs. Anna Gallagher.
Mr. Doherty believes that another actor should have been chosen. He said: "I suppose it wasn't the greatest choice of drivers knowing his past. I suppose at the end of the day it was years ago. I have forgiven what he had done. I mentioned that at the time. I have always said that an accident happened. It is certainly not something that you want to happen to anyone. It wasn't premeditated. We all know many people in the north of Ireland who have died over the years and somebody sat down and planned it. As I said, it certainly was not a great choice of driver. I am sure there are plenty of stars over there they could have got to have done the advertisement".
Mr. Doherty has never met the actor, who with his wife Sarah Jessica Parker, own a holiday home in Donegal. "At the end of the day. I do not know what has gone on in his head or what he is thinking. I have never ever had any contact over the years.
A meeting may "close the book" on the issue, he believes. "There has always been something at the back of my mind that it would close the book totally if I did meet him. I do not dwell on that too much. I am the same as everyone else who has lost family. I have my own personal thoughts on it. There are many, many people in the same boat as myself. The one thing about it is because who it was that killed my mother and sister, there is always this on-going publicity.
"Every two years this last 25 years I have had some reporter or somebody ringing to ask questions about it. What annoys me about it is I know people that have lost sons, daughters, mothers and fathers over the years in road accidents and nobody ever asks them how they feel or how do they cope with it. I am sure they have the same feelings as myself on it. If it had been somebody I knew that caused the accident, at least at this stage I would have been able to have met them quietly without any fuss being made about it and made our amends. Other than that, whatever he wants. It is his life and he can lead it whatever way he wants. Like everything else, it is surprising what people will do for money," he said.
"I definitely think they could have had somebody else to do the advert. Maybe he hasn't had a good, hard think about it himself," he added.
"As time goes on, people forget about some of these tragedies, bar immediate family. Unless it gets that bit of publicity only the immediate family remember about it for the rest of their lives".
Asked about the negative comment made about the commercial in the States, he said: "I suppose it is a natural thing for people to remember the bad. We never seem to remember the good things people have done over the years as well."