Friends and family of a popular Keady man who died suddenly from a heart attack last year have raised over £5,000 in his memory.
Eugene Nugent, 52, was a huge character and his untimely death in February 2016 plunged a small community into shock.
The hugely respected member of Keady community was credited with bringing alternative music to the town when he started Dj’ing at the Parochial Hall in the 1980s.
He was known for his sessions in the Community Centre and Stan’s pub for many years.
One year on from his death and his adoring wife Linda, along with Eugene’s close friends Peter Slevin and Gerry Kavanagh, decided to mark his first anniversary in a way that was befitting of the man they were remembering.
Last Saturday, huge crowds gathered at the Tommy Makem Community Centre in Keady for a concert in aid of Chest, Heart and Stroke NI.
Wife Linda said: “We had to make some hard choices as to who were to play as he had so many friends in the music industry through his own years of DJing, his encyclopaedic knowledge, and his help and advice to anyone who asked, or who didn’t ask.
“It was also an obvious choice to donate the proceeds to Chest, Heart and Stroke NI and it has been a privilege to hand money over in his name. I’m a very proud and sad wife. He was loved a lot and I hope he knew just how much.”
Younger sister Patricia added: “He was into music for as long as I can remember, from before he had his own headphones and me being the youngest, I was constantly shushed when he’d be passionately listing to LPs on his turntable.
“I had said after he died that he always did things to the beat of his own drum, he had a very distinctive ‘Cure’ type hair thing going on in the 80s. That, for Keady, was totally unconventional. For him, it was OK to be different. I admired him greatly for that.”
She added: “When he DJ’d at local discos some people would bring him various types records and beg him to play them, and he often did. We all grew up with the vast music that is the 80s, someone had said Eugene was the very fabric of our youth.
“He was a great cook but his knowledge of everything from photography to astronomy, music, nature, fishing, was vast and if he didn’t have answer for your question about something he bent over backward to find it for you.”
She concluded: “His love of family and of his home and surroundings was immense. He always had time for people. I’m sure that all will agree that his photography has been the inspiration for many to lift a camera and start recording the beauty of the present and what’s left of the past.
“I don’t think there is anyone else could make funghi look so damn interesting and beautiful!I’m just so proud to have called him my brother and my friend.”
One friend simply said: “I had known Eugene a relatively short time in comparison to others but in that time he had a great impact on me.”