- 28 Nov 17
48-year old Willie Meighan passed away this morning after a battle with cancer.
Sean Keane, of the Kilkenny People paid a moving tribute to the man this morning, saying "Willie started working in the Top Twenty shop in 1990 having early done work placement there when he was attending CBS secondary school. It was his dream job. He was managing it within a few months and, in 2003, he took it over with Darragh Butler (formerly of the band Kerbdog) and they renamed it Rollercoaster.
"Willie didn't really consider people who came into his store on Kieran Street as customers, they were more like his friends.
"Many of those who bought records there said it was like going into a pub, because you were always bound to meet up with someone with similar musical tastes and it was this special atmosphere, camaraderie, a place where people could just came in and chat."
In an interview conducted with the Irish Times before he died, he said that developing relationships with customers in a business where all the action had moved from Main Street to online was easier said than done.
"It’s corny, but we’d consider a huge amount of customers to be friends too and would hope the feeling is reciprocated. We’ve got a ridiculously loyal bunch of customers and I certainly think there’s a much greater awareness of shopping local in recent times.
"The community ethos of record stores is very much alive and well and the ones still standing are those that always went about their business the right way," he said.
According to the Kilkenny People, Willie passed away with his family by his side, including his wife Aisling Hoy, who he married just a few weeks ago.
A month ago, Willie asked people to share any memories they had of him and he received over 1,000 responses on Facebook. Today, people have been taking to Twitter to pay their respects to Willie Meighan.
Just need to say this: the world is losing its’ cultural heroes. Willie Meighan @Rollerkilkenny , you are one of the finest Irishmen - and men - I’ll ever meet. I am alive because of you. I have a home because of you. I love Ireland. I love ye first. Thank you.
— John Murry (@johnmurry) November 27, 2017
Today , nothing else matters , really it doesn't . Willie Meighan RIP . I'm heartbroken. A Musical Oak cut down from the forest . https://t.co/e9EsTBOfu7
— Patrick M Barrett ™ (@Pat_M_Barrett) November 28, 2017
Thank you for everything Willie. RIP https://t.co/qtf1T73gYu
— All Tvvins (@alltvvins) November 28, 2017