Roche, master publicist, dies at 48

PUBLICIST to the stars, Chris Roche, has died prematurely after a short illness.

The 48-year-old Dubliner, whose first client was music promoter Jim Aiken, had more recently turned his energies into making the fairytale of Michael Flatley’s life come true.

Just one week before Chris died, Michael recognised the role his publicity master had played when he said: “Chris has been with me since the very beginning when times were tough. He is the greatest PR man I know and he is a true friend.”

Together with his friend Jim Aiken, Chris opened up Slane Castle as a rock venue for Lord Henry Mount Charles, pioneering stadium rock in this country.

Yesterday Mr Aiken spoke of his sadness at Chris’s death.

“I’ve lost a good friend and business colleague. He was publicist for Aiken promotions for the past 20 years and during that time, we became good friends.

“What I will miss most is his sense of humour and his ability to remove tension with humour.”

Chris began his working life with CBS records. He then moved to the UK-based distribution company, Solomen and Peres for whom he handled all the business of Warner Music in Ireland. In 1980 he became Promotions Manager and A and R Manager with Warner and two years later he set up Chris Roche Publicity.

The Jim and Chris double-act were behind the showcasing of such diverse acts as U2, Frank Sinatra, Diana Ross, Bob Dylan, Queen, David Bowie, Tina Turner, Cher, Dire Straits, Prince and Paul Simon at the RDS, Croke Park and the Point. Chris worked with Cameron Mackintosh and Andrew Lloyd Webber in bringing big stage musicals to Ireland.

The removal of Chris’s remains will take place on Monday, December 9, to St. Patrick’s Church, Monkstown at 5pm and Funeral Mass will take place on Tuesday, at 11.00am.

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