Belfast Telegraph

The Killers respond after Kerry pub man sings 'Mr Brightside' in moving tribute to late friend

Warning video contains some strong language

The Killers have responded to the viral video of Irishman Brian O'Sullivan paying tribute to his late friend with a rendition of Mr Brightside at Falveys Bar in Co Kerry.

Video of the song being belted out by Mr O'Sullivan backed by locals went viral and gained hundreds of thousands of views within days.

Mr O'Sullivan was paying tribute to friend Ger 'Farmer' Foley last Thursday at the pub in Killorglin.

The Killlorglin man's rousing rendition of the Killers' hit did not escape the US rock band's attention.

They took to Twitter to send him a message: "Brian O'Sullivan, if Brandon ever needs a fill-in, we're calling you! May we all have friends like this #farmersrule" they wrote to their 2.79m followers, with a link to the video.

Before launching into the song, Mr O'Sullivan told the crowd: "He was the salt of the earth, he will never be replaced and we will remember him forever in our lives.

"I think that the most appropriate song that you can get for this man is Mr Brightside."

Peter Teahan, who filmed one of the videos, told the BBC that Mr Foley was a popular member of the community.

"It certainly wasn't a normal Thursday night in Falveys," he said. "A lot of people had been getting up to sing, one person had a guitar and did Raglan Road.

"Brian was a good friend of Ger's, and that was one of Ger's favourite songs, so he got everyone going.

"Most people in the area knew Ger, he was very popular. It was a very good send-off for him," he said.

Update: 'Going global is fantastic but it's about Ger and Cystic Fibrosis... carry donor cards'

Speaking to Anton Savage on Today FM, Mr O'Sullivan said that while there's a fun side to the video, it's also important to remember that friends and family in Killorglin are grieving.

He chose to sing Mr Brightside in tribute to Ger, who was just 45 when he died, as it is a song everyone sings in Falveys bar on New Year's Eve and many musicians and singers had been paying musical tributes.

"There were beautiful singers there all night, an explosion of life and the songs he would have loved growing up so I thought Mr Brightside would be a great tribute to him," said Mr O'Sullivan.

"Obviously I didn't think anything like [the video going viral] would happen.  Obviously there's a load of grieving people down here, there's the fun side of it, but also the serious side.

"There's a serious amount of people grieving down here, family and friends, it's an emotional ride.  Ger would have loved the exposure his passing would have got because he loved rock and roll."

Brian revealed that Ger had lived with Cystic Fibrosis and received a double lung transplant in 2003.  He went on to have two children, Isabel and Peter, with his wife Grainne.

"When I stood up on that bar I wasn't standing up for people in America or Australia or in the world, I was standing up for Farmer.  That was my tribute to him.  Going global is fantastic but it's about Ger and CF and not Brian O'Sullivan," said Brian.

The Kerryman became very emotional as he pleaded with the public to carry donor cards.

"[Ger] died of CF and I would like everybody to get it into their heads about getting a donor card," he said.

"Without Ger getting a transplant back in 2003, a double lung transplant, there would be no Isabel and Peter.  That's his legacy and getting that into people's heads - people can save lives by running into a building or whatever but people can save people's lives by just carrying a donor card.

"That's so important.  Ger's legacy lives on because of a donor card."

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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