Saturday 24 March 2018

Legendary journalist Paul Drury dies at 57

Vinnie Doyle, Paul Drury, Aengus Fanning
Vinnie Doyle, Paul Drury, Aengus Fanning
Paul Drury
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

President Michael D Higgins has led tributes to Paul Drury, one of the most influential and respected figures in Irish journalism, who passed away of cancer at the age of 57.

Mr Higgins described him as "a highly respected journalist and commentator," saying his death "will be a loss to the profession he served with distinction for over 30 years."

Mr Drury served as editor of the 'Evening Herald' and the 'Irish Daily Star' as well as of 'Ireland on Sunday' and the 'Irish Daily Mail' in a distinguished career in newspapers.

Colleagues remembered him fondly as a "larger than life personality" who "lived, ate, breathed and slept newspapers" and was fascinated with all aspects of the trade.

Group Editor-in-Chief at Independent News and Media Stephen Rae said: "Paul was an energetic and decisive editor, unafraid to stand up for his journalists and newspaper.

"At a time of great change in the industry in the mid-1990s he used his production background to embrace the new technology.

"He rose through the ranks at Independent Newspapers to become a young deputy editor under the legendary Vinnie Doyle, subsequently editing 'The Star' and then the 'Evening Herald' where I first got to know him.

"His morning news conference on the 'Herald' was a sight to behold. We send our deepest condolences to Áine and his beloved children," he said.

Read more: Principled newspaper man with boundless energy

Michael Denieffe, Independent Newspapers Managing Editor, said: "Paul Drury's old-school style never stifled a youthful enthusiasm for the skill of good journalism.

"He was confident that the core values of accuracy, integrity and authority of reliable journalism would endure across the challenge of developing media platforms."

A fluent Irish speaker, Mr Drury studied journalism in the College of Commerce, Rathmines, and soon became Brussels correspondent with the Irish Independent.

He became editor of the 'Irish Daily Star' before moving to the 'Evening Herald' where he was editor from 1994 until 1999.

In 2000, he was appointed editor of 'Ireland on Sunday' and oversaw its transfer to Associated Newspapers, becoming editor of the 'Irish Daily Mail' in 2006 and then Managing Editor of Associated Newspapers Ireland. In 2011 he stepped down but maintained his column in the 'Irish Daily Mail'.

Read more: Michael Denieffe: A colleague and a friend who was an iconic newspaper man

Sebastian Hamilton, Group Editor of Irish Mail Newspapers, said they were devastated at the loss of one of this country's "greatest journalists".

"Everyone who was privileged enough to work with Paul will remember his wit, his intellect, his companionship - and above all his passion for the craft of journalism."

He is survived by his wife Áine, a former RTÉ journalist, and three children, Éanna (22) Niamh (20) and Oisín (13).

He is also survived by his brother, Luke Drury, President of the Royal Irish Academy and Professor of Astrophysics.

They were the sons of Dr Con Drury, a renowned psychiatrist who had a life-long friendship with philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Irish Independent

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