There was widespread sadness at the passing of Donal 'Sid' Aughey on July 29. The 79-year-old was well-known throughout the Irish music scene, having started out as a drummer with The Merry Minstrels, then The Drifters before going on to play with and manage The Times Showband and The Swarbriggs.
His life changed forever on a summer's evening in 1962 when, as he cut hay in a north Westmeath field, Joe and Ben Dolan approached him about joining their new band, The Drifters. Without any hesitation, he leapt from the tractor to accompany the Dolan brothers to a gig that very same evening in Athlone.
The Drifters went on to achieve international stardom with hit songs such as ' I Love You More and More Every Day', 'Pretty Brown Eyes', 'Aching Breaking Heart', 'Tar and Cement', 'My Own Peculiar Way' and 'Westmeath Bachelor', all of which bear Donal's distinctive drumming and backing vocals.
Before the showbiz call came, 'Sid' was a noted hurler with Turin and Westmeath. He later became a keen golfer and won the Mullingar Captain's Prize in 1980.