Saturday 20 October 2018

Musicians join family for fond farewell to promoter

Ken Sweeney

MUSIC promoter Derek Nally was laid to rest yesterday with famous friends and former colleagues turning out to bid him a fond farewell.

It was a full house with standing room only at the funeral in St Mary's Church, Drogheda, Co Louth.

Mr Nally was the booker for Dublin music venue Whelan's, and the service was attended by many of the performers he had worked with at the club, including singers Paddy Casey, David Kitt, Lisa Hannigan and Luka Bloom.

Father Denis Nulty, conducting the service, spoke of how the Irish music industry had been left "shellshocked" by Mr Nally's passing, along with his family and friends.

"Derek had two families: his own family, which he adored; and his music business family. His spirit lives on with his family and friends, and in the music he loved and encouraged."

He added that Derek Nally's "decency and honesty" meant his legacy would be a "benchmark for promoters".

From Warrenstown, Drumree, Co Meath, the 59-year-old passed away from a heart attack last Thursday.

Beginning his career as a DJ in the early 1970s, he became a concert promoter for such acts as John Martyn, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Guy Clark, Nils Lofgren and Elvis Presley's guitar player James Burton.

"Derek Nally never did an artist out of a penny. He was the fairest man you could meet in the music business. That's why musicians kept coming back to him," said his friend, fellow music booker Joe Nicolson.

This was a sentiment echoed by concert promoter Peter Aiken who described Derek Nally as a "decent and honest man", and 'Hot Press' editor Niall Stokes who described him as a "tireless champion of Irish music".

"There was never a question that Derek had anything other than your best interests at heart. I hope the music community, and the people who benefited from Derek's kindness over the years, will rally around his family," said singer Luka Bloom.

Tyrone-born singer Juliet Turner, who Derek Nally began managing in 1997, was among others who paid tribute

"Derek was a generous, enthusiastic, intelligent and hard-working man, respected by those he worked with, and he will be greatly missed," she said.

Mr Nally is survived by his wife Dairin and their children Rachel, Sara and John.

He was buried in Calvary Cemetery in Drogheda.

Irish Independent

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