A huge crowd turned out today for the funeral of the music promoter, manager and booker Derek Nally, which took place this morning in St. Mary's Church in Drogheda.
One of the artists managed by Derek, Juliet Turner (pictured right, with him), sang at the funeral. Also, there were members of Ham Sandwich, who Derek managed, Paddy Casey, Lisa Hannigan, Luka Bloom, James McMorrow, Steve Wall, Joe Wall, David Kitt, Paul Harrington, songwriter Neil Toner (also of RTÉ) and members of The Chapters, among other band members and artists.
The music industry was represented in force with Republic of Loose manager Dermot Doran, Declan Forde of POD Concerts, Una Molloy, Ken Allen, Karl Bergin, Amy Garvey, Marcus Connaughton, Pete Murphy of EMI, John McCallion of Warners, Janine Nallen of RMG, Elvira Butler of Reekus, Fran Quigley of CAVS, Emma Harney and Aileen Galvin of Entertainment Architects, DJ Mike Moloney, Donal Scannell, Blizzards manager Justin Moffatt, Derek Turner of the Spirit Store, Ailish Toohey, Gráinne O'Brien, Eilish Moore, Tommy Tighe of the Sound Cellar, Pat Murphy, Stevo Berube, Frank Gleeson, Leagues O'Toole and Lorcan Ennis among the dozens who travelled to attend the funeral. There was still an air of shock among the mourners. "I can't believe it," said Luka Bloom. "He was such a good man. Of all the promoters, he was among the nicest I've ever worked with."
"He was very knowledgeable about music and helpful to musicians," Elvera Butler of Reekus said in a comment on hotpress.com, representing the views of so many who attended the funeral. "He was fair in his dealings with others and always good for a chat with lots of interesting anecdotes. Whelan's won't be the same without him."
Everone was in complete agreement that Derek Nally was a true gentleman in all his dealings. "Sometimes you think maybe he was too nice for the music business," one old colleague observed. But of course you can never be too nice.
"It reminds me of when Bill Graham died," Amy Garvey, manager of Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill said. "Derek knew so much about music. He could tell you the story of a song. Now all of that knowledge and information is gone with him. It is a terrible loss."
Journalists who attended included Nick Kelly, Eamon Sweeney, Ken Sweeney, Maeve Quigley, Ritchie Taylor, Danny McElhinney and Barry Hartigan, among others.
"It was the kind of turn-out you expect for a man who put so much into Irish music," Hot Press editor Niall Stokes said. "Everyone was stunned, because Derek's death was so sudden – but you could see how much he meant to everyone in the business and the extent to which people will feel his loss. It is a very sad day."
Derek is survived by his wife Dairín and their children Rachel, Sara and John.