The wife of a former showband singer from Co Tyrone who died in a flood says she did not realise how “greatly loved” he was by so many people until he died.
The Garda believes Ivan Vaughan, whose stage name was Simon Scott, was swept away by flood water in Co Monaghan after getting out of his car as he returned from Glaslough on Sunday evening.
Mr Vaughan performed with the Plattermen in the 1960s and 1970s and recently worked as a solo artist.
He was 70 and lived in Caledon.
He was found at about 11.30am at Corraghdown, Glaslough, about 10 metres from his car.
“I have just realised that he was a man that was greatly loved,“ his wife Tish Vaughan told the News Letter.
“The number of phone calls I have had last night and today - dozens and dozens. The phone has not stopped.
“Last night and this morning all these people...friends has made through the music.”
Two pubs in the Republic have been in contact with Mrs Vaughan.
“The pub he played in at Glaslough near Monaghan called. The owner was absolutely distraught that it has happened to Simon.”
Mrs Vaughan estimates that he got into trouble at about 10.30pm on Sunday.
“How much he struggled we don’t know. The water was three-quarters of the way up his Vauxhall Zafira.
“When I was taken to the scene I thought he had driven into a lake but the Garda said, no, he was still on the road.”
The couple met at an agricultural show.
“I was judging the dogs and he was judging the children and pony fancy dress,” she said.
He was dressed up in his stage get-up, in his showband gear as an Indian chief.
“We were in the caravan later as two people from Northern Ireland in the south having lunch. We became friends and it just grew from there. We had been together for 35 years.”
Mrs Vaughan has two daughters from her first marriage and he had one from his.
No date can be set for a funeral until the autopsy is completed.
“I will be lost without him. He was very kind and very loving, although he didn’t always show it. He would have done anything for anybody.
“One of his friends told the media he was a gentleman.
“His best friend told me that he never had a brother but felt like he had lost a brother. We all should be so lucky.”
Mrs Vaughan noted that the tragic death made Sky News in Australia and the front pages of British and Irish newspapers.
Mr Vaughan had a huge repertoire, she says, but among his favourites was Neil Diamond’s ‘big ballads’.
“He was more than a singer, he was an entertainer. He loved people and music and will be sadly missed by a lot of people.”
“He was a nice man who didn’t deserve to die like that.”
Mr Vaughan was travelling home from a last-minute booking for a wedding party in Glaslough.
“This is the second time for me. I lost my first husband to cancer when he was 41. But you just have to get on with it the best you can.”