Wednesday 17 January 2018

Eoghan McDermott and Conor Cusack pitch in to voice poem

Eoghan McDermott, Ryan Mangan and Conor Cusack Credit: Barry Smyth
Eoghan McDermott, Ryan Mangan and Conor Cusack Credit: Barry Smyth
Ryan Mangan Credit: Dylan Connolly Newsdesk Newsdesk

As thousands once again lace up their runners for the Pieta House Darkness into Light run, GAA legend Conor Cusack has teamed up with Voice of Ireland host Eoghan McDermott to lend their support to the 2015 event.

The duo has lent their voices to a powerful poem chronicling the troubled teenage years of author Ryan Mangan.

“I'm very honoured to say that two very familiar and inspirational men are involved,” he said.

“The fact that the former-Cork hurler Conor Cusack originally came to me after seeing my poem, with a very appreciated pat on the back, made his authenticity very clear and his input into the project a desire."

“I was very impressed by the originality that both Conor and Eoghan brought to the poem. Where Conor's Cork accent carries inspiration and comfort, Eoghan's carries across those familiar optimistic tones that we all love listening to.”

The poem ‘Pitchfork Branches’ has the young poet reliving his past as a teenage male who, although surrounded by crowds, feels alone and full of despair.

Originally from Galway, Ryan said the passing of Hollywood actor Robin Willians last year had helped inspire him to write the poem.

“Certain words from “The Dead Poets Society” gained my musings: ‘No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world.”

“Since at the time I was experiencing my own little poetic-bloom, and depression remained as common a sight for me as the chewed-up cap of my blue Bic pen… I wanted a glimpse at what they could do to each other.”

“After some time of trying, I’d ended up with a piece that would eventually go on to be used in a more general way to help others going through dark times who, perhaps may not otherwise be able to fully express how they’re feeling in times of despair.”

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Speaking of the involvement of Conor Cusack and Eoghan McDermott, the young poet said he had been “struck by their authenticity”.

“From the outset, (Conor) struck me as nothing but genuine, intelligent and a gift from above when it came to de-stigmatising a lot of the bad that comes with mental health and what being a man is commonly seen to be in our society.”

“Similarly, having Eoghan McDermott on board exceeded many expectations… originally he hopped on board with the promotion of Pieta House because he was ‘a face from the tele’ and thought it wise to use his popularity in a way that would help such a worthy cause.

“[But] he then had the bravery to admit to previous experiences of self-harming, and his involvement with Pieta House has since struck me as beyond powerful.”

Read More: Pieta House CEO: 'Self-harm trend #cutforZayn was a scary issue'

Now in its seventh year, there is still time to sign up to take part in this year’s Darkness into Light run - the annual fundraiser for Pieta House, the charity that helps those in suicidal distress or who are engaging in self-harm.

The unique event sees runners set off in darkness at 4.15am and complete a 5km route which ends as dawn breaks.

For more information, visit here.

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