Lawyer Paul McBride QC Laid To Rest
Hundreds of mourners gathered to say a final farewell to one of Scotland's most prominent and respected lawyers.
Paul McBride QC, described as ``an outstanding figure in Scottish public life'', died suddenly in his sleep while on a business trip in Pakistan last weekend. He was 47.
Figures from the world of politics, including First Minister Alex Salmond and former MSP Tommy Sheridan, attended a requiem mass at St Aloysius' Church in Garnethill, Glasgow, this morning to pay their last respects.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon, a close friend of Mr McBride's, was one of the coffin bearers as figures from sport, the media and law also attended.
At least 500 mourners packed into the church in the city's Rose Street for the service led by Father Peter Griffiths.
Mr McBride's grieving parents, George and Mary, followed their son's coffin to the altar, clutching on to each other, with his partner Gary close behind them.
Mr McBride was one of the leading lawyers of his generation having been appointed a QC at the age of just 35.
He was involved in many high-profile criminal cases and fatal accident inquiries, as well as representing Celtic Football Club.
A number of Celtic players, including captain Scott Brown, and some of the management team arrived at the service on a bus. The club's chief executive, Peter Lawwell, also attended.
Yesterday, players wore black armbands during their Scottish Cup quarter final as a mark of respect.
At the service, Mr McBride was remembered for his ``relentless wit'', ``good humour'' and his ``generous, loyal'' personality.
Lord Advocate Frank Mulholland said Mr McBride, who apparently ``had a contact book better than Simon Cowell's'', was a ``master negotiator'' because he was able to see every argument from his opponent's side.
He said: ``He was one of the finest lawyers of his generation and one of the most able leaders of his generation.
``He was involved in many high-profile cases and fought for his clients ferociously.''
The Lord Advocate recalled meeting Mr McBride for the first time when he was carving out a name for himself in the 1990s.
He said: ``I was very impressed by someone so young being able to get straight to the source of the problem. He took everything in his stride.
``I told him 'You have a real talent for making rubbish sound great'. I always thought he would make a great stand-up comedian.''
Mr Mulholland also praised Mr McBride for speaking out against bigotry and prejudice.
He said: ``Paul was fearless. He was not afraid to speak out if speaking out was the right thing to do. The easiest thing would have been to stay quiet, but that wasn't Paul's style.
``He was a much-loved son, partner and friend. He would have been as proud as Punch to see the number of people here today, from all walks of life. I'm sure I can hear him shouting down at all of us 'beat that'.''
Close friend Tony Grantham, who was one of the best men at Mr McBride's commitment ceremony to partner Gary, also spoke at the service.
He recalled that Mr McBride always had ``a mobile phone welded to his ear'' as he left court each day.
Mr Grantham said Mr McBride could be ``considered nothing less than a great man'', adding: ``Glasgow High Court will forever be a quieter place without you.''
Stop All The Clocks, a poem by WH Auden which featured in the film Four Weddings And A Funeral, was read out before Mr McBride's body was committed for burial.
As the procession left the church, At Last by the late Etta James was played over the speakers.
Mr McBride was laid to rest at St Conval's Cemetery in Barrhead and a celebration of his life was being held at Celtic Park.
The lawyer was found dead in his bed at the Pearl Continental hotel in Lahore last Sunday. He had been on a business trip with human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar. Both had attended a wedding the previous evening but Mr McBride returned to his room early, feeling unwell.
As he left the church today, Mr Anwar looked tearful.
The First Minister said today: ``Paul McBride was an outstanding figure in Scottish public life and the attendance of so many people from different walks of life at today's funeral service is testament to the esteem and affection with which he was held.
``Paul's closest friends spoke well of him today and Scotland should heed their words of respect and tolerance.
``Paul's death at such an early age has been a tragic loss to Scotland as a whole - but of course the greatest loss is to those who knew and loved him best, which is why my thoughts today are with Paul's partner, parents and family at this very sad time.''