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Tribute for Dad who took his own life just before his baby's birth

A MUM whose musician husband died tragically just two weeks before their baby was born will honour his memory tonight -- through his music.

Laura James (37) lost her husband Derrick Dalton in 2008 when he took his own life a fortnight before the birth of their daughter Julie.

Brave Laura has since been raising their adorable child as a single mother, but Derrick (40) is a constant presence in their lives through his music. And the Drimnagh mum saw the perfect opportunity to remember him appropriately by organising a memorial gig for him in Dublin tonight, where she will be releasing his last album.



Devastated

Laura told the Herald: "I had Julie two weeks after Derrick died, I was trying to get it [the concert] done earlier but I just didn't have the time.

"And then I was just so devastated by his suicide, I just couldn't really get it together until now. I did have it ready in May and then I just thought it was better to mark the occasion of his second anniversary by releasing the record."

As today marks the two year anniversary of his death, Laura said that she is happy to have somewhere to go to distract herself from the pain.

"It's just mixed emotions, I am looking forward to it. At the same time, I'm really nervous and obviously I'm going to feel really lonely because we're having a party and he's not there.

"It's very much mixed emotions but I think I am doing the right thing and it's better than sitting in at home being miserable," she added. "By doing it today, I have something on to mark the occasion, I'll bring all his friends together and members of the musical community."

Derrick was very well known in the Dublin music scene and was a member of many bands including Hey Paulette, Mexican Pets and Crumb.

Local bands Thread Pulls, Dinah Brand, Richer Than Astronauts, and Little Beauties will play at tonight's tribute.

Laura has credited Julie for getting her through the pain. The courageous mum is delighted that the toddler will have something to remember her father when she grows up and listens to his music.

"She's doing really well, she's brilliant. She's very funny and she's starting to talk," she said.

"I do find all these occasions really tough, but she's great, she's really enjoying herself. I have to hide my pain for her. I suppose she doesn't know any differently, but I don't think it's had any impact on her. She's so happy -- she keeps me going. She's the image of him, it's great," she said.

Laura will release the record -- under her husband's Aeromodeller moniker -- on vinyl. "Originally the records were going to come out on CD, but the two of us are big music fans and more into vinyl, so I got it pressed into vinyl, which is much nicer," she said.

A Night in Memory of Derrick Dalton kicks off tonight at 8pm in Whelans. Admission is €12 and all profits go to Aware


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