I’ve a vague memory of being introduced to Derek outside the pub in Newmarket, by Tara and back then, his main interest was a BMX bike. He seemed a bit exotic to me with his jet black hair and clearly FAR cooler than me – and yet he somehow became a friend 😊. Through teenage years there are so many hours spent in conversation – he was a great man to walk ALL the way out to Ballycar (whereas we’d been reared soft in this respect). Fond Memories of so many nights out – One September playing in the village hall during the Summer Festival (Him jumping at just the right moment when playing ‘Might as well JUMP’), a million nights in Ennis and Dublin, the debs, even ages on the phone when phone calls cost money and people talked on the phone. I do have a lasting image of him at the Cure concert with his tie as headband – not quite Robert Smith, nor did he want to be – sadly (or fortunately) little or no photographs of those days.
But when I think of Derek over recent years, its this: that I have used him as my example (sadly I don’t have many), of someone who did for a living, what he would have done as a hobby, only that someone insisted on paying him. An enviable position that HE carved out for himself.
He was such a lovely guy, inside and out - such a loss to his family, friends and the music community. Wishing you strength in these tough days Aoibhe, Cora and Cole. - Claire Micallef (Liddy from Ballycar)