I have known Derek since I started in BIMM Dublin back in 2017, but it is only since Derek took up the Commercial Modern Music course leader job in November 2021 that I got to work closely with him. Derek was always patient and enthusiastic in the face of any problem and I admire that.
On Monday afternoon 7th February 2022, Derek and I had a long meeting to discuss planning for the remainder of the college year. At the end of the meeting, he thanked me for helping him and said he appreciated my support. I left that meeting with a notebook page full of ideas and plans for several projects Derek and I would have worked on together. Derek's enthusiasm actually made me excited for a year project I have worked on four times before.
When I received the news of his passing, I had just replied to an email he scheduled for me to receive at 9:02 on the 8th. Having just replied to him, I was shocked to hear that he had passed away, and staring at that page in my notebook now all I feel is sadness.
While I feel like I didn't know Derek very well, I feel a great sadness knowing I will never speak to him again. I can't imagine what it must be like for those who love him. Rest in peace Derek and my condolences to his family.