Willie Meighan, owner of Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny, has died

‘Boss, there is a light and it will never ever ever go out,’ Facebook tribute reads

The late Willie Meighan of Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny

The late Willie Meighan of Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny

 

Willie Meighan, the owner of Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny, and a prominent figure in music, has died after living with cancer for a year, it was announced on Tuesday. Meighan worked at Rollercoaster for 27 years.

On the shop’s busy Facebook page, his colleague Dave Holland posted news of Meighan’s death. “Due to the passing of our hero, best friend and boss Willie Meighan, Rollercoaster will be closed until Friday,” he wrote. “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.”

Hundreds of people posted messages of sympathy, memories and appreciation of Meighan in the few hours following the post.

The shop on Kieran Street in Kilkenny, one of Ireland’s few independent record stores, describes itself on its Facebook page, which has nearly 4,000 members, as “the happiest little record shop in the world”.

Earlier this month, in an interview with Niall Byrne for The Irish Times, Meighan talked about dealing with the news of terminal cancer: “I got diagnosed nearly a year ago but they only told us last week that it was incurable,” he said. “How long I have left I don’t know. It could be weeks, months but very unlikely years. I’m just taking the time as it comes, you know?”

Meighan, who was 48, witnessed many changes in the music business over his almost three decades at Rollercoaster, and observed: “I still think that personal contact, whether that’s coming from me or whether it’s the customers chatting in the shop and recommending each other things, is important. That hasn’t changed in 20 or 30 years.”

He is survived by his wife, Aisling Hoy, his mother, Mary, a sister and three brothers. He will repose at his sister’s house on Wednesday night; the funeral is on Thursday at 11am at St Mary’s Cathedral.

During his illness, while he continued to work part time in the shop, or from home, music was especially important to him. “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.”

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