MANY people across the Yes movement will have learned with shock yesterday about the sudden severe illness which has afflicted our National columnist, colleague and friend Paul Kavanagh, author of the Wee Ginger Dug blog.

Paul suffered a stroke on Monday morning and is now recovering in hospital. The news was revealed by his husband Peter Bellefleur, who said: “It’s going to be a long process.”

It was Paul Kavanagh to whom I turned when The National first conceived of the idea that we should devote two pages per week to the thoughts and activities of the whole grassroots Yes movement.

Characteristically witty, Paul said: “Well this movement is going to have to be a do-it-yourself project because nobody else is going to do it for us.”

Thus Yes DIY was born and over the last two-and-a-half years – apart from a brief interlude during lockdown – we have faithfully reported on the movement’s development.

Paul Kavanagh has played an important, unsung part in that development, travelling all over the country to speak at National Roadshows – his standing joke is that the Dug always gets in more pictures than him – and speaking at many rallies and group meetings, while his blog is essential reading for all those who believe in the cause of independence.

His Wee Ginger Dugcasts for The National and his regular column and other contributions to this newspaper are highly valued by all of us. We will update you on his recovery as Paul progresses.