By BRIAN MOORE
TRIBUTES have been flooding in from across West Cork, the country and further afield, for the one and only Jimmy Hayes who sadly passed away last week.
The Clonakilty musician, showman, DJ and friend to all, will be missed, not only for his talent and his immense good humour, but also for his energy and love of his hometown.
‘I first met Jimmy when I was 15,’ said John Fitzgerald of Lettercollum Recording Studio. ‘He was a showband drummer and quickly became a great mentor and friend. Later on, we toured New Zealand together and I will always remember how he made people laugh no matter where he went. He will be sadly missed by us all.’
Jimmy was the ‘Clonakilty Correspondent’ on the pirate radio station WKLR, back in the mid-1980s and his studio was located at De Barra’s bar,’ Bobby Blackwell of De Barra’s said.
‘Every minute I spent with Jimmy I enjoyed. He was a great friend, a showman and one of the cornerstones of the music scene in Clon. He was one of a kind and I know the town will miss him.’
Musician Bill Shanley echoed Bobby’s words as he remembered Jimmy’s talent. ‘Jimmy Hayes was a very talented man, immensely popular in Clonakilty and beyond. I had many nights of playing music with him and got to witness his talent, voice and ability to connect with the audience. He will be missed.’
One of Jimmy’s best-loved lines when he was signing off from his WKLR slot was ‘Mother Hayes, put on the spuds. I’m on the way home!’ However, childhood friend and former town councillor Humphrey Deegan remembers those ‘spuds’ would be on the boil for many an hour before Jimmy final made it home.
‘Jimmy was a great friend. He never failed to make people laugh and enjoy themselves. Another great line of his at the end of an evening of music and fun was, “Remember, lads, on the way home, make love not war, we live in a built-up area.”