Simon was at the peak of a hugely successful career in business and music when he was stricken with a terminal illness which tragically took his life on October 7 at the age of 56. He battled bravely to the end with cancer and bore his burden with dignity and forbearance. Simon is sadly missed and fondly remembered by county music lovers. Though preferring to be in the shadow of famous icons, he was nonetheless an important influence on the ‘Country’ scene in Ireland and his lifelong passion for the music remained undimmed after many years as a performer and promoter. His first band, ‘The Ranch House Rangers’, formed in 1969, enjoyed outstanding success throughout Ireland and the UK, bringing their distinctive ‘Country’ sound to large audiences in all the important venues. This insight into the music and entertainment scene prompted Simon to consider acquiring a venue of his own and soon he had purchased ‘The Village Inn’ in Campile, which enjoyed nine years of outstanding success as a popular pub and music venue. Retiring from the pub business in 1999, Simon returned to more active involvement in the wider entertainment industry.

Larry Cunningham, a ‘Country Music’ legend, asked him to form a new backing band, and ‘The Mighty Blue Boys’ was born.

The partnership of Larry’s voice and Simon’s band was a brilliant combination, touring successfully for many years.

During this exciting period, Simon became friends and performed with all the big stars of Irish ‘Country Music.’

He played backing band for such stars as Kathy Durkin, Philomena Begley, Ray Lynam, Mick Flavin, Johnny McEvoy, Patrick Feeney, Seamus Moore and many more.

He toured Ireland, England, Spain and America, including the home of ‘Country Music’ Nashville, Tennessee.

Simon passed away in October 2009 and sadly his great friend Larry Cunningham left us in September 2012.

May their gentle and musical souls sleep in peace.

Larry

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