Belfast Telegraph

Tragic Joby fund gets £10k donation from Snow Patrol

By Louise Small

Northern Ireland rockers Snow Patrol have pledged £10,000 to the family of a young Belfast man who drowned in the River Lagan to help purchase special sonar equipment for the Community Rescue Service.

Gary Lightbody and his bandmates have donated £10,000 to the trust fund to aid with the purchase of sonar equipment.

Joby’s father Joe Murphy said: “I am in shock, I cannot believe it.

“A spokeswoman for Snow Patrol rang me to say they had been so touched by the story, they will be forwarding a cheque for £10,000.”

Joe says this contribution to the fund will be a massive boost.

“This means our fundraising is now on the radar; they have helped us make the fund high profile.

“We want to supply the Community Rescue Service with sonar equipment.

“Currently Northern Ireland doesn’t have any sonar devices.”

The Mallow Search and Rescue diving team from County Cork located Joby’s body with their sonar, nearly two weeks ago.

Joe continued: “These devices save time and money, and help to locate the missing body.

“This sonar equipment is for everyone, it is really needed.

“We waited a month to get Joby back, with this equipment it could have been sooner.”

“If someone is ever lost in the river again, the sonar will be there to help with the search and the body could be recovered within hours.”

He continued: “Joby was a big Snow Patrol fan, even at his funeral mass the priest read out the words of their song Run and he played it from an iPad at Joby’s graveside.

“His friends all joined in singing; it was moving.”

So far the Joby Murphy Trust Fund has over £2,000 in it. This will rise drastically with the donation from Snow Patrol. Joe says that any money that is left over after buying the sonar will go towards buying a boat for the Community Rescue Service.

He said: “A sonar usually costs around £30,000 — we hope to raise more than this.”

This is not the first time the local rockers have helped out a local family.

In 2006 Snow Patrol offered their support to the family of murdered Bangor woman Lisa Dorrian.

The band wore ‘blue ribbons of hope’ for Lisa during the Vital rock music event in Belfast’s Botanic Gardens.

Lisa went missing after a night out at Ballyhalbert in February 2005 and her body has never been found.

To pledge a donation to the Joby Murphy Trust Fund at the Ulster Bank the account number is 10616902 and the sort code is 98-00-11.

Story so far

Joby Murphy (20) fell in to the River Lagan on January 26, following a night of heavy drinking. He had been at a Snow Patrol concert at the Odyssey Arena before he went to a club after the concert. While there he drank a number of £1 vodka shots.

After a four-week search Joby’s body was recovered with the use of sonar equipment from Mallow Search and Rescue team based in Co Cork.

Joby’s father Joe has called for change to drink promotions that encourage young people to drink to excess. Joe is now aiming to raise £30,000 to buy sonar equipment for the Community Rescue Search in Northern Ireland.

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