Deric Henderson: A Life in Journalism

Wednesday 30 November 2016: Deric Henderson : A Life in Journalism

Deric Henderson
[L – R] Probian, Paddy McGowan with Guest Speaker, Deric Henderson and Probus President, Paul Gallagher

Although he left Omagh since 1973, Deric described his home town as the place which “made me and shaped me”.   Deric’s life in journalism began when he joined the Tyrone Constitution in 1968 as a junior reporter.   By 1973 he had gained sufficient experience to move to the Belfast Telegraph;  this was when civil unrest was at its height and he soon found himself reporting on some of the worst events of the Troubles.  In 1980 he moved to London and a job with the Press Association for which he routinely covered events in Northern Ireland. His reputation for professional reporting and unbiased political commentary secured him a place in the press team that travelled with Margaret Thatcher and he recalled how, on one visit to the Province, she grabbed 40 winks in the back of a Wessex helicopter.   During his time as Ireland editor for the Press Association he got to know all the key players in the Province’s politics, and entertained members with several off-the-record anecdotes.   In retirement he turned to writing books, one of which was turned into an award winning television drama. Having answered many questions about his work he was thanked for his presentation by Probus member and contemporary, Paddy McGowan.