President leads tributes to 'inspiring editor' Paul Drury
President Michael D Higgins has led the tributes to former Herald editor Paul Drury following his death at the age of 57.
Mr Drury passed away early yesterday after battling cancer.
President Higgins said that he had learned with sadness of the untimely death of Mr Drury,
"He was a highly-respected journalist and commentator and will be a loss to the profession he served with distinction for over 30 years," he said.
The Dubliner held the position of managing editor of Associated Newspapers Ireland from 2008 until 2011, when he stepped down and focused his talents on writing and broadcasting.
He was the launch editor of the Irish Daily Mail in 2006, and he also served as the editor of the Irish Mail on Sunday, Ireland on Sunday, the Irish Daily Star and the weekly Irish language newspaper Amarach, as well as holding a number of senior editorial positions within Independent Newspapers.
He was editor of the Evening Herald from 1994 until 1999.
Group editor-in-chief at Independent News and Media, Stephen Rae, last night paid tribute to Mr Drury.
"Paul was an energetic and decisive editor, unafraid to stand up for his journalists and newspaper," Mr Rae said.
"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 was a sight to behold.
"We send our deepest condolences to Aine and his beloved children," Mr Rae added.
Alan Steenson, editor of the Herald, described Mr Drury as a man with a great passion for journalism.
"He knew the value of a good story and his energy and love of newspapers was inspiring.
"As Evening Herald editor in the late 90s, Paul gave me my start in the business and placed a lot of faith in me as a young journalist learning the craft. For that I will be forever grateful.
"The thoughts and sympathies of everyone at the Herald are with his wife Aine and family at this sad time," he said.
Martin Brennan, former news editor of the Evening Herald, said Mr Drury was a campaigning editor.
"The paper under his editorship took a strong position on social problems, and injustice in society," he said.
Sebastian Hamilton, group editor of Irish Mail Newspapers, extended condolences to the family of Mr Drury. "We are all devastated at the untimely loss of one of this country's greatest journalists," he said.
Mr Drury's funeral service will take place on Wednesday at 11.30am in Rathmichael Parish Church in Shankill, Co Dublin.