But today’s the day of Kate’s memorial. So to ensure she’s not lost in the shuffle of everything else, I thought I’d share at least one thought on an unforgettable girl. Feel free to add your own.
There are many, many things that can be said – and have been said – about Kate, but one thing I’ll always remember is how much that girl could rock a West Wing Walk. By which I mean the fast-talking high-pressure political conversations that tend to take place in any Aaron Sorkin drama. Pace to make excessive amounts of dialogue seem like movement.
The election where I think Kate cut at least some of her political teeth was the DCU Students’ Union election of 2007, where she was campaigning for Brian Smyth – a good friend of ours, but for the elections at least my opponent.
Now DCU wasn’t The White House, and student politics isn’t going to start any wars, but still I remember hearing that she’d joined Brian’s campaign team before I’d had a chance to ask her, and my stomach dropped through the floor.
Kate and the team wafting about campus, all black shirts and electioneering, a force to be reckoned with. I’d see them pass by and gulp loudly, secure in the knowledge that they probably knew some fabulous campaign secrets I hadn’t even begun to consider. But just as I’d be convincing myself that I’d better just drop out there and then, I’d catch Kate’s eye.
She’d drop me a wink, and then smile in that pursed way that made her squint ever so slightly.
And then she’d keep right on moving – safe in the knowledge that she’d impressed on an “opponent” the truth: politics and competition only matter so much, and never as much as the people that partake in them. In the end, neither myself nor Brian won. But things never got petty or messy, as student politics sometimes do.
That campaign was a strange, stressful time – but the defining memory will alway be Kate catching my eye as she sped past. And if all the elections that ever were and ever will be are just an opportunity for Kate Fitzgerald to walk, talk and wink – well I can think of no better reason to whip out the ballot box.