TRIBUTES have been paid to award-winning former Evening News journalist Nicola Barry, who has died after a long illness.
Ms Barry passed away aged 66 in the Western General Hospital last week.
The journalist and author won a vast number of newspaper industry awards for her work as a columnist, features writer and social affairs commentator.
She won 27 press awards and was Columnist of the Year three years in a row in the Scottish and UK Press Awards.
As well as the Evening News, she also wrote for The Scotsman and the Sunday Express.
She published her memoirs ten years ago, Mother’s Ruin telling of her troubled childhood living with an alcoholic mother.
In 2014, her first novel, Fat? So! hit shelves.
Former Evening News editor John McLellan said: “Nicola was a one-off, not a traditional reporter but a writer and interviewer of great sensitivity, and without question one of the best writers the Evening News ever employed.
“Her sympathetic approach to her subjects meant she was able to tackle some very difficult stories with empathy and humanity.
“I saw her relatively recently and I’m very shocked and saddened by her untimely passing.”
Creative writing tutor Professor Willy Maley, said: “Nicola’s big-hearted personality, infectious smile and irrepressible humour hid the fact that she had had a hard time growing up, and as a young woman in a man’s newspaper world she’d had to deal with all kinds of demons, some of them in shirts and ties.
“She was a fantastic friend, not just a former student, and one of those people whom the phrase ‘force of nature’ fits like a glove. She was also a real force for good in a world increasingly full of demons.”
Ms Barry is survived by her husband, Alastair Murray, and his daughters, Jane and Hazel. Her funeral will take place at Warriston Crematorium at 1pm next Tuesday, followed by a Service of Thanksgiving in Colinton Parish Church at 2.15pm.