A departing daily editor has paid tribute to his staff in a farewell letter to readers.
Mike Gilson, who is leaving the Belfast Telegraph to take up the editorship of The Argus, in Brighton, said it was “unthinakble” he would soon be without those who served under him during the past five-and-a-half years.
His decision to join the Brighton daily in succession to Michael Beard, who left for a PR role with Public Health England, was originally announced in December.
Reminiscing about his arrival in Northern Ireland in his letter, published last week, he wrote: “Certainly the welcome, the thirst to grab the moment, talk the hind legs off the issue, will never be forgotten.
“Neither will the people here at Royal Avenue who work for an institution on which everyone has an opinion, good or bad, but who continually, day in day out, set the agenda in a way nobody else can in this country.
“Imagine being without them. Unthinkable. Except I’m having to think it now.
“The Story Gods have been good to me. They have continued to keep giving in a way that leaves no pause for breath.
“Sure there’s been plenty of darkness but equally some stunning shafts of light too.”
Adding his thanks to those he had met over the past five years, he wrote: “To the taxi drivers either super miserable or instant best friends (there’s no in-between in Belfast); a constant source of stories and opinion.
“And finally to you the readers of course. You’ve let me know when we got it wrong but you’ve been generous in praise and support too. You’ve been invaluable guides.
“Fragments of all of this and more I will take with me on that melancholic ferry journey next week.”