Public urged to look on ‘brightside’ of donor card after Kerry wake goes viral

With more than 1m people watching his emotional rendition of ‘Mr Brightside’ on a Kerry bar top, Brian O’Sullivan hopes the passing of the man he was honouring will help highlight the need for everyone to carry donor cards.

Brian O'Sullivan climbs on the bar to pay tribute to his deceased friend, Ger Foley

When footage emerged on social media of Brian belting out the Killers’ hit in honour of his deceased friend Ger “Farmer” Foley, it rapidly went viral around the globe. Even The Killers themselves tweeted a link to the recording with the message: “Brian O’Sullivan, if Brandon ever needs a fill-in, we’re calling you! May we all have friends like this”.

But as Brian pointed out himself yesterday, his performance at Falveys Bar in Killorglin just hours after his friend was laid to rest “wasn’t for people in America or Australia or different parts of the world. I was on a stage for Farmer”.

He told the Anton Savage Show on Today FM: “Obviously I did not think this was going to happen. There is the fun side but obviously there is also the serious side, a serious amount of people grieving down here, not just family but a fierce amount of friends including myself still. It’s a very emotional ride.”

He described Ger as a beautiful man who, while he grew up and lived with cystic fibrosis, never let it deter any bit of his life.

“Every wall that was put up in front of him, he just blew it away and kept going,” he said. “Obviously his time ran out but his life was totally full of love and life in the 45 years that he was here. Everyone told him he was going to be celebrated in music and song when he did eventually go. That’s the way we do things down here.”

Brian said he hoped Ger’s children Isobel and Peter would be able to grow up and, in 10 years time, look back and say “that was a great way to send dad off”.

“Legacy is everything for everybody and people have different legacies. He died of CF. I would like everybody to get into their heads about getting a donor card because without Ger getting a transplant back in 2003 — a double lung transplant — there would be no Isobel and Peter. That is his legacy.

“People save people’s lives all the time running into a building or whatever. People can save people’s lives by just carrying a donor card, and that is so important. Ger’s legacy lives on because of a donor card.”

More in this Section

No Government jet for freed Halawa

Garda officers may sue for right to strike

Rail unions vote for industrial action

‘We are on our knees after this ... we need help’

Breaking Stories

Cork County Council place flood barriers, warn of likely road closure

No 'budget bounce' as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil slip in opinion polls

The Lotto results are in

Here's the weather outlook following Storm Brian


A helicopter put a piano on the 150-foot roof of Blarney Castle and other stories from the Cork Jazz Festival archives

Jazz Memories: Famous faces share their favourite moments

Live music review: The Horrors - Icy genius in a thrillingly intimate setting

New book revisits the games they just don't make anymore

More From The Irish Examiner