No one ever imagined that we would be talking about Tackler (Darren Crawford) in the past tense, but as fate would have it, here we are.
It’s difficult to sum up exactly who Tacks (as he was more commonly known as by his many friends and family) was. He had a certain something, often described by those closest to him as “the beauty of Tacks!”
Never shy of a hard day’s graft, Tacks left school at 16 for a plumber’s apprenticeship and worked for Omega until a recent illness. His skills with a spanner were second to none - and Derry will be lost without his big heart, big smile and helpful attitude.
Generosity would probably be his strongest characteristic, especially with his time, as he always went out of his way to help those around him. However, that generous spirit came with a rare modesty - as Tacks was humble to the last, even insisting on doing odd jobs for the price of a cup of tea!
A real family man, Tacks was a big believer in traditional family values and he doted on his mammy, Bernie.
He was always so thoughtful and protective, and even at the height of his illness, he went to great lengths to hide how ill he was to protect his family.
A man of simple pleasures, Tacks’ sanctuary was spending hours with his daddy, Tony, and uncle Gerard out fishing at the Faughan.
As a brother to Diarmuid, John and Melanie, he was very caring and supportive but his deepest affections were for his only sister, Melanie – and the two were like best friends. He was also a proud uncle to Melanie’s children, his only nephew Eoin and Goddaughter, Anna.
When Tacks made an entrance, his personality and huge character filled the room and brought it to life. He was the life and soul of the party, especially with his roguish humour and that loud, infectious laugh of his. He was always a pleasure to be around and, determined to make others feel better, he often saw humour in the bleakest of situations.
Few could doubt his reliability and work ethic and Tacks worked hard up until his illness.
Everyone remembers that Tacks had a heart of gold. He was such a loyal friend who loved those fortunate enough to be a part of his social circle. He always saw the good in people and the world in general, and to sum him up, it would be fair to say that anyone who knew him loved him... He was a beautiful person with a beautiful soul and he is missed by so many.
Those who knew him realise now that it was a privilege to know such an absolute gentleman. Though he would probably disagree and laugh at us all now, Tacks is a legend because of the great way in which he saw the world and the impression he left upon it. He really was one in a million and there will never be another like him.
A night dedicated to the memory of Tacks, and to celebrate his life, has been organised for this coming Saturday, September 28, at the Delacroix Bar on Buncrana Road.
With an army of musician friends eager to help mark this occasion, entertainment on Saturday will be provided by the likes of Thumping Jellyfish, Bulrush, Denis & Caolan, Rory Morrin and many others who will make this a night to remember.
Tickets are available now from Link Music on Castle Street, priced £5, or you can pay on the door at the Delacroix. All are welcome to come along and remember the gentleman that Tacks was.