| 12.6°C Belfast

Footloose DJ Finn O'Neill brings walking disco to Magherafelt

Finn's mobile disco on the move raises money for cancer research


Helping out: Finn O’Neill walking the streets of Magherafelt with his mobile disco

Helping out: Finn O’Neill walking the streets of Magherafelt with his mobile disco

Helping out: Finn O’Neill walking the streets of Magherafelt with his mobile disco

It has been a tough year for charities with Covid restrictions limiting fundraising efforts and many struggling to stay afloat.

But the streets of a Co Londonderry town are alive with the sound of music as one man has taken a novel approach to making sure Cancer Focus NI remains in the picture. He has coupled his love of music with his fitness regime to hit the road as a walking disco.

Now Finn O'Neill's fitness regime is a spinning class - though not quite as we all know it. He has even promised all those who donate to the charity by supporting his campaign that they will be entered into a raffle on December 11 to win a home projector kit.

"I wanted to try something different," the 23-year-old said. "I haven't seen anyone else try it.

"I have been involved with the Cancer Focus Fitness Factor but it's been difficult with all the restrictions. We were all asked to see if we could try to keep the charity in the public eye but straightforward posts online haven't been working."

A ventilation installer by trade, a long period of furlough during Covid left Finn seeking a hobby, so he dabbled with a mixing desk and his idea has certainly hit the right note after stomping around Magherafelt streets last weekend.

"I wanted to give it a go as a hobby, but when I spotted a video online of someone in England who had taken his mixing desk on his walks I thought it was a fun way of getting attention.

"I just built the kit in the garage. It's run through a laptop and I wanted to make it portable to keep my hands free.

"It's keeping me active and it's a bit of fun, but more importantly, when I posted the video online it seemed to be popular," he said.

After just one walk around Magherafelt, Finn has already raised almost £1,500 for the charity at a time when it needs the support most.

"I'm hoping to get back out there again soon, but my kit isn't waterproof yet so unless I manage to get walking around inside a shopping centre I'll have to wait until it's dry."

He now has plans to bring his walking disco to Belfast.

"I'm seriously thinking of putting on a Santa hat and walking around Victoria Square blasting out tunes if I can," he said.

You can watch Finn's walking disco tour on YouTube by searching Out for a Stroll or visit the JustGiving page at Finn's Fitness Factor Magherafelt 2020.

Belfast Telegraph