O'Doherty, Joseph (c.1882–1979), revolutionary, politician, and administrator, was born in Co. Londonderry. A member of the Irish Volunteer executive, he took part in the Easter rising and was imprisoned briefly afterwards. During the war of independence he was involved in IRA actions in Derry and Donegal, and in the 1918 general election was elected Sinn Féin TD for Donegal North, defeating the nationalist Philip O'Doherty, and was reelected unopposed for Sinn Féin in Donegal in 1921. An opponent of the Anglo–Irish treaty, he travelled to the USA with republican delegations in 1922 and 1924. He held his dáil seat as an anti-treaty republican in 1922 and 1923, but was defeated when he contested the June 1927 general election as a Fianna Fáil candidate. From 1928 to 1933 he was a member of the Irish Free State senate, and from 1933 to 1937 again served as TD (FF) for Donegal. In 1936 he was called to the bar and practiced as a barrister till 1945, when he was appointed Carlow–Kildare county manager, a position he held till 1957. Also in 1936, he instigated two libel actions arising out of the publication of On another man's wound, the war of independence memoir by Ernie O'Malley (qv). O'Doherty accused O'Malley of implying that he was a coward for having refused to take part in an IRA raid in Moville, Co. Donegal, in October 1919. While the passage in question did not name O'Doherty, he claimed that it clearly referred to him, and that he had decided not to take part in the raid because, as a member of the dáil at the time, he did not think it appropriate to do so. O'Malley's defence argued that the passage did not refer to O'Doherty but that the events described were true. The courts found that O'Doherty had been libelled and he was awarded £250 in his first action against O'Malley and the publishers, the Sign of the Three Candles Press, and £300 in his second action against O'Malley and the Irish Press, who had serialised the book.
He married Margaret (Mairéad) Claire Irvine, medical doctor, who was dismissed from her position as medical superintendent for Derry in 1922 for refusing to take the oath of allegiance. They had four sons and one daughter and lived at 16 Terenure Road East, Dublin. He died 10 August 1979 at the Meath Hospital and is buried in the republican plot in Glasnevin cemetery.