'It's about Ger and Cystic Fibrosis and not Brian O'Sullivan' - Mr Brightside Kerry pub singer breaks down as he pleads with public to carry donor cards
Published 29/03/2016 | 12:05
Brian O'Sullivan, the man who sang The Killers hit 'Mr Brightside' in tribute to his friend Ger 'Farmer' Foley, has spoken out about losing his friend.
The video of Brian's rousing tribute, which he sang atop the bar in Falveys pub in Killorglin on the day of Ger's funeral, went viral and prompted The Killers to send a message of support.
However, speaking to Anton Savage on Today FM, Brian 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 Brian.
"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."