Vincent Gill, the man who could make you read (and enjoy) reams about nothing, died last Friday. He was buried in Ardagh cemetery on Sunday.
These are just the cold 'death notice' facts about a man who had edited, almost single-handedly, the Longford news for over 35 years, an achievement that set him apart from all journalists.
Tales about Vincent and his exploits could stretch a mile long. He was unique in the newspaper world and his one man paper drew camera crews from British television.
In every pub in Co Longford Gill was known. His George Bernard Shaw beard (and wit to match) was a familiar sight. Whiskey, children and dogs were his great loves. He hated anyone who showed cruelty to animals and lavished hospitality on all mongrels.
He delivered the Longford News himself. He computed the accounts. From his tiny printing works in Harbour Row, he even worked the linotype and printing presses often til the small hours of the morning, sometimes loaded with whiskey and Guinness.
The niceties of life never attracted him. He liked it rough and was a regular contributor to the town's scroungers. His writing frequently landed him in trouble – with farmers, priests and publicans – but Vincent survived, even one famous tangle with a well known Longford TD on the market square.