Paul McBride, QC.

All death is a loss, but when the person is young and talented the loss is all the greater.

Paul McBride QC irked many who pined for the old Scotland where Catholics with Irish names knew their place.

At graduate at 19 and a QC at 35, the ferociously bright lawyer was the embodiment that the days at the back of the bus were coming to an end.

This made him a hate figure for many in Scotland who harked back to those cultural certainties.

His critique of the governance of the national game was unanswerable, and people in power knew it.

In my private conversations with him, his views of the structures of Scottish game were even more trenchant.

He viewed  the hierarchical realities of  Scottish football as a last bastion of the old set up, rather like a golf club that wouldn’t admit women in the age of gender equality.

Of course, Paul had become a hate figure with many followers of Scotland’s establishment club.

It is a cruel irony that two Rangers supporters are currently on trial for allegedly sending a  suspect package to Paul.

The gleeful response on Twitter last night to the news of his death simply confirmed to me that Paul’s opinion of some sections of Scottish society was sadly correct.

His family will, of course, suffer his passing most of all.

For those of us who knew him as the combative QC we are all, today, aware of his absence.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam

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