Life Health & Wellbeing

Tuesday 17 September 2019

Widow of Ger 'Farmer' Foley speaks movingly about late husband in wake of 'Mr Brightside' viral

Aoife Kelly

Aoife Kelly

The widow of the man whose friend’s ‘Mr Brightside’ tribute went viral has spoken movingly about her husband’s life.

Grainne Foley’s husband Ger Foley passed away last week at the age of 45.  He had Cystic Fibrosis.

His friend Brian O’Sullivan paid tribute to him by singing The Killers hit ‘Mr Brightside’ in Falvey’s bar in their hometown of Killorglan and the video went viral with over a million views.

Speaking on the Ray D’Arcy Show on Saturday night, Grainne said, “I’m adjusting.  We’ve had a very difficult year, a very difficult couple of weeks. 

Brian O'Sullivan and Grainne Foley on the Ray D'Arcy Show
Brian O'Sullivan and Grainne Foley on the Ray D'Arcy Show

“The last two weeks have been not at all what we could have expected.  It’s been very strange.  I was delighted with what happened in the bar.  It’s very strange how it went after that but all we can do is use it and talk about organ donation.”

Grainne and Ger had been together for 20 years and shortly after they were married he had a double lung transplant.

“The word ‘transformation’ doesn’t begin to describe it,” said Grainne. “It was remarkable.  I mean we’re fairly sure had he not got it he would have survived maybe a month or two.

“Within four weeks of having it he was home and I call it the ‘Duracell bunny’ months.  He was just alive, so alive. He always was but more so.”

Ger Foley, his wife Grainne and children Peter and Isobel
Ger Foley, his wife Grainne and children Peter and Isobel

They had two children, Isobel and Peter, and in 2012 they took four months off from their jobs to travel the West coast of the US.

Grainne revealed that Ger had been remarkably determined with an incredible will right to the end.  She urged people to become organ donors and save lives.

“All over the world every day people make incredibly difficult decisions,” she said.  “Becoming a donor is not a difficult decision.  You tick a box on your driving licence and that’s it, decision is made and you can absolutely change lives.”

'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

The Killers send message to man who paid tribute to late friend in Kerry pub with band's hit 'Mr Brightside' 

'We were lucky to have been given those extra 13 years'- Widow of CF sufferer Ger Foley on the 'Brightside' of organ donation 

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