I have often found it difficult to begin an essay or an important text, or been at a loss for finding the perfect words, the right thing to say, in a given situation. Now, as I sit here faced with the task of composing my last ever editorial as Byline Editor, as any Editor, even as a writer, for University Express, I have never felt this feeling so acutely.
Where do I begin? Where do I even begin to sum up, to phrase an ending to what has been one of the best, most important, inspiring, opportuneful experiences of my life? My involvement with University Express has allowed me so much, so much that will forever stand to me, that I will forever value and look back on with the warmest nostalgia and gratitude.
I have honed my writing, having been given a platform to express and publicise my voice in an award-winning student publication; I have been given opportunities beyond what I could have hope for, having the pleasure of speaking with some of my favourite musicians and talented people; but most importantly, I have made connections with people and attained friendships that I will cherish and hopefully keep throughout the rest of my life.
Thank you to Rob and Mary, for seeing something in me I never even knew was there when I first went for Deputy Features Editor in my first year. Thank you to Rob, again, for trusting me to continue on to become Features Editor in my second year. Thank you to Fergal, for joining me as Deputy Features Editor during that second year, making the experience not only much easier, but an absolute pleasure. Thank you to Cailean, for trusting me to follow in his footsteps as Byline Editor in my final year, and for being a wonderfully supportive, enthusiastic, innovative and inspiring Editor in Chief. Thank you Holly McGrath, University Express’ incredible designer, who has made Byline, and the entire University Express paper, look the best it ever has.
Thank you to all who have made up the greatest Byline team I could have hoped for: Caoimhe Coleman, Cian McGrath, Rían Browne, Joe Cunningham, Callum Casey, Éadaoin Regan, Laura Riordan, Sadhbh Sullivan, and of course Sirius Speculation. Thank you all for your incredible work throughout the year. You have all, individually, raised the standard of each of the sections in Byline to an inspiringly high level, and you should be so proud of yourselves for what you have achieved. I hope that you all feel proud of what we have achieved, together, and that I was as supportive and pleasant to work with as you all were. I wish you all the very best. Keep writing, and doing what you do, because you are all so incredibly talented, inspiring and important people. The world needs you.
Thank you to the editors that ran their own sections outside of Byline: Ciaran Dineen, Dec Gleeson, Samantha Calthrop, Fergal Smiddy, Róisin O’Donnell and James McAuliffe. Thank you to our online editor, Fiona Keeley, our webmaster Michael Forde, our marketing executive Robert O’Sullivan, our photographers, Célem Deegan, Eve Harrington, James Kells and Ben Kavanagh, and our staff writers, Callum Connolly, Sinead O’Sullivan, Tara Leigh-Matthews, Lauren McDonnell and James MacSweeney.
To anyone and everyone who has ever been involved in the Express in any way shape or form, because this isn’t a gig that’s run in a vacuum; we are a family, consisting of immediate and extended members, a whole network of individuals that come together in various degrees to create what, in my eyes, is one the greatest achievements in student media across the country.
Thank you to everyone and anyone who has ever read even just one of my pieces. A very special thank you, too, to those who liked the piece, or pieces.
I am not biased. You are all amazing. (but I am also biased, because I love you all).
It’s been a pleasure,