The father of three children who were found dead at their home in January is urging parents to use the extra time at home during through the Covid-19 crisis to take more family videos while they can.
Andrew McGinley is sharing his own precious videos of Conor, 9, Daragh, 7, and Carla, 3, on YouTube channel Conor’s Clips.
“If people need to get the kids out from under their feet, if they have an old camcorder, I’d encourage them to give it to them, and they can look at Conor’s clips for inspiration if they like,” he said.
“When I gave the camera to the lads we almost didn’t see them for a week as they were so busy filming. It’s lovely to look back on the videos. I hope no one else ever needs that for circumstances like mine.”
The children’s bodies were discovered at their home in Newcastle, Co Dublin, just before 8pm on January 24.
Their mother, Deirdre Morley, was found in a disorientated state near their home by a taxi driver. She is charged with the children’s murder, but has been too unwell to attend court.
Conor’s Clips was set up to fulfil a promise to Conor, who announced at Christmas that he wanted his own YouTube channel, said Mr McGinley.
“I get great comfort knowing that people can see how happy and joyful the kids were in the videos,” he said. Mr McGinley said.
“We used to look back on these videos with the kids on a regular basis and the lads loved them. They really enjoyed seeing themselves from their younger years.
“I also gave the lads our old camcorder and that’s what they used to film their Movie with Lego, which is on Conor’s Clips. Watching Conor and Darragh’s movie on YouTube may encourage other children to create their own movies and clips.”
The adorable videos of giggly, happy family life feature the three children playing and singing, dancing with glee at the prospect of Santa before Christmas, playing hide and seek, and getting giddy at bedtime.
In one poignant video, Carla is asked by her dad: “What have you got to say to your future self?”
The little girl repeats his words, saying “hi” to her future self, before throwing her arms around her dad in a hug.
The channel is now reminding other families to record and save their own precious family moments.
“The feedback from letters so far is that people are enjoying them and it’s giving people a realisation that they need to take more video footage of their own kids and to make sure they have all their photos and videos backed up in cloud storage,” said Mr McGinley. Mr McGinley
On Friday, he posted a message on the Conor’s Clips Twitter account, asking for people to write to him to help him through this difficult period.
“I’m struggling with isolation like you all, but really missing the company,” he wrote. “Can you write to me? You may never know how much this will help me.”
Since then, Mr McGinley he has received hand-delivered letters and cake, emails from people sharing their own grief and joy with him, and boxes of letters through the post.
“A lot of people have written about their own struggles,” he said. “Currently there are people who can’t cuddle their dying family members, so many of the letters show me that there is so much hidden grief and devastation out there whilst the majority of people carry on as normal.
“What has struck me is the amount of people who have struggled through illness with their children and then had to cope with their death too.”