Sad news from Kilkenny this morning, as news that Willie Meighan, the owner of Rollercoaster Records for the last 27 year has passed away.
News came via the staff on Rollercoaster’s active Facebook page:
Due to the passing of our hero, best friend and boss Willie Meighan, Rollercoaster will be closed until Friday.
No one has done more to help and inspire everyone he met both in music or in day to day life. We cannot express our sadness at his loss and no words ever will. Boss, there is a light and it will never ever ever go out .
Willie had recently found out his cancer was terminal and he talked about it with me only two weeks ago for the Irish Times’ How Music Works column. He was very gracious with his time, despite his illness (I didn’t know about it when I first asked him for an interview).
Meighan was well-respected and loved in the Irish music community and his presence will be missed.
Here’s his last words to me in the interview when I asked him what music meant to him now, even though he didn’t know how close to death he was, he was regretful that he wouldn’t hear more of the music in the world.
“In a way it means more than ever. I’m listening to as much as I ever did. The one sad part of it, you’re not going to hear everything before you go. That’s the same for all of us. It’s more of an immediate worry for me now at the minute. I’m still going to keep tapping away with the shop and the gigs. I have no idea how long I’m going to be here and I’m just going to make the most of it while I can.”
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.