AND so it’s farewell Fidelma. The Herald’s very own weekend iconoclast has posted her final copy and closed the lid of her laptop for the very last time ("A true one-off, an inspiration and a fighter… tributes pour in for Fidelma", The Herald, June 28, and Obituary, June 29). Saturday mornings just won’t be the same.

When I heard the news of her passing, like many I am sure, I felt a real sense of loss as one would with a family member. And perhaps that is appropriate – she invited us into the intimate details of her life and struggles, never maudlin, never self-pitying but blisteringly honest, refreshingly frank and open.

Her columns were never dull. Carefully crafted, tendentious and, occasionally vitriolic, they were a joy to read. When her searing gaze fell on some unfortunate who had earned her displeasure she could be critical and hilarious in equal measure. She was bold, brave, outspoken and took no prisoners. Indeed, she was still launching tirades even as the end drew nigh.

I shall miss you, Fidelma. If you ever get round to posting copy from another place, please put me on your mailing list.

Rob Kelly, Bearsden.


IT was with deep sadness that I read of the passing of Fidelma Cook.

While her health issues were well documented, her mind was as sharp as a tack until the end.

This week’s column on Brexit and Brexiters ("There will always be an England. Oh, and flags – lots of flags", Herald Magazine, June 26) was so pertinent.

Saturday morning's first read of The Herald will never be the same.

My condolences to her family.

Douglas Jardine, Bishopbriggs.


I AM broken-hearted at the news of the passing of Fidelma Cook.

I felt a close rapport with her, even though I never met her. We exchanged emails, and I discovered she used to live in the same village as me. She is already greatly missed.

Margaret Forbes, Kilmacolm.


ON November 26, 1994, Archbishop Thomas Winning was created a Cardinal in Rome by Pope John Paul.

Both Fidelma and I were in Rome covering the event, she with the Daily Record and I was making a biographical video of his life.

The Scottish delegation had been invited to the Paul VI Audience Hall for a private audience with the Pope.

Fidelma and I were two rows from the front. As Pope John Paul came on to the stage I looked at Fidelma and she had tears streaming down her face.

She turned to me and said: “If you tell anyone I was crying when I saw the Pope I will kill you.”

I hope it’s okay if I tell them now Fidelma, RIP.

Dermot McQuarrie, Florida, USA.


I AM among those who worked with Fidelma Cook in the past in papers and TV and remained in touch.

She was the ultimate professional – to the point of her last column appearing last Saturday, the day she died.

Fidelma always swished with style – what a distinctive exit.

A point which should never be forgotten is Fidelma’s courage in standing against London BBC pushing aside BBC Scotland on a big news story, even when the original exclusive was from Scotland. This became normal practice with too many frightened to stop it (some still cringe). But years ago Fidelma and her crew were on Orkney on another story when they came upon a horrific cull of seals with baby seals being bludgeoned to death.

Fidelma’s story was massive and went global – then she was told to stand down, London was sending a team: the “ shove off Scotties the big guys are here” usual. But Fidelma was bigger in guts. She refused to abandon her story – and later resigned on principle.

We both worked at the BBC years ago and on numerous newspapers as sometimes investigative writers, often columnists.

Many condolences to Pierce and her army of readers.

Dorothy-Grace Elder, Glasgow.


IN my 2007 Commonplace Book I wrote the following: "Love survives death. It endures. It is just that we call it grief." It was attributed to Hugh Macdonald, Herald Correspondent. Now we have news of the death of the dearly-loved Herald correspondent, Fidelma Cook, so I am sad that we have lost her bravery and the pithy passages of her Saturday columns.

On June 28 my late daughter would have been60. Each year, since her death 25 years ago, I have done something she would have loved to do with me. This year it was to take her little old copy of The Tale of Peter Rabbit to make a perambulation around the Peter Rabbit Nature Walk in the lovely gardens at Floors Castle in Kelso. It was a beautiful day as I walked and sometimes sat to read Peter's story. What a mischievous little chap he was and how beautifully the tale had been set out. Then home to listen to the 1972 recording on YouTube of the lovely and young Gladys Knight singing The Way We Were from the film. One of Julie's favourites. "Memories," sang Ms Knight and I had goosepimples as I listened; tears too. In the dark I lit a candle and put it in the window as I do each year, and called her name. As the flame grew higher I also called Fidelma's name.

Living is loving and does not cease when the other person dies. As Hugh Macdonald wrote all those years ago ... "Love survives death. It endures. It is just that we call it grief". We go on loving.

Thelma Edwards, Kelso.