Farewell to Paul, one of the great newspaper men
We worked elbow to elbow deep into the night, and early morning, producing the Irish Independent.
He was razor sharp, hugely energetic and bursting with intelligence.
A journalist of extraordinary ability and single-minded drive, he loved newspapers with every fibre of his being. He lived and breathed them.
I can not believe I am writing these words on the occasion of his death.
Paul Drury, former Deputy Editor and Motoring Correspondent of the Irish Independent (he was my predecessor), passed away early Sunday. He was only 57.
He set standards only he could reach sometimes, but I learned much in attempting to stretch for them at his behest.
Just 12 months ago - March 7, 2014 - we had a wondrous day together as we travelled to celebrate a great friend's 80th birthday.
We reminisced, of course, on the journey to and from the occasion. But we spoke more openly about non-journalism things than we had ever done.
We were never closer than this and I thank God for those hours.
Here was a side to Paul I'd only occasionally glimpsed; the rush and bustle of newspaper production left little time for anything else.
But that March day a year ago was different. Our talk was deeply personal and forged a different bond between us that I sensed and cherished then, and do so even more now that cruel, untimely, death has intervened. I am deeply, deeply saddened by his passing.
Our most sincere sympathy goes to Áine, children Éanna, Niamh and Oisín.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.