‘Big Night with Derek Ryan’ cattle market gig to go ahead

Organisers have confirmed this weekend’s Big Night with Derek Ryan gig at Ballymena Cattle Market will still go ahead.

Members of Lisnamurrican Young Farmers’ Club thanked the Carlow singer for honouring his agreement to play, despite the gig coming just days after the death of his mother, Sally.

Club secretary Christine Maybin said: “Lisnamurrican YFC members would like to send their condolences to Derek Ryan and his family.

“We would like to inform all ticket holders that Lisnamurrican’s Big Night with Derek Ryan and his band will be proceeding on Saturday night and we sincerely thank Derek Ryan for continuing to play.”

The lively event at Ballymena Livestock Market is one of the biggest events of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster social calendar and sees the busy mart transformed into a dance hall for one night only.

This year’s tickets sold out several months ago with all 1,600 tickets snapped up within just three weeks.

‘Heartbroken’

The Irish country star had been due to play an acoustic set at McGrory’s Hotel, Culdaff, on Wednesday night but the gig was cancelled after the sudden news.

Writing to his 100,000 Facebook fans on Monday, Derek Ryan wrote: “I am truly heartbroken to say my mother Sally passed away peacefully in hospital this morning.

“Our whole family is devastated. We ask for your thoughts and prayers over the coming days. May she rest in peace.”

The crooner named his first album ‘A Mother’s Son’ on which he included several songs he had written himself.

As one of the best-loved country music stars he headlined the very first Farmers’ Bash in October.