Where you can buy the new Danny Quigley O’Neills jersey in Derry

The Danny Quigley Fund was officially launched in the Maldron Hotel on Friday night (March 25) with a celebration of Danny’s mammoth 10 in 10 ironman challenge.

By Daire Ní Chanáin
Thursday, 31st March 2022, 5:46 pm

On the night, the O’Neills jersey that was made specifically for Danny, and that he wore on the last day of the challenge, was also launched and is now for sale through the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum (BBHF).

Danny gave his first ever speech at the launch on Friday night, in a room full of his friends and family. He said: “I know this is only the launch of the Danny Quigley (DQ) Fund but it’s principals stem back a long time ago. Back as far as March 20 2011, when our black Labrador cried it’s last cry.

“Hope, perseverance and supporting one another; the principals that helped me then and feature so strongly in the work we set out to do together within the DQ Fund.

Sign up to our daily Derry Journal Today newsletter

Aisling Hutton, BBHF, presenting Danny Quigley with a drawing by Derry's Dave Campbell.

Since then, the first year really stands out in my mind most. It was a state of limbo. A state of absence for me. Absence from the world, absence from myself. All feeling and myself had gone. Thankfully, due to the people that are here tonight and the BBHF, I have been, quite simply, lifted up, looked after and cared for. I can assure you that this launch is only us being lifted up and carried to the start line. Now, the real race can begin.

“The 10 in 10 was for my da, Colm Quigley. What a legend he was.

“The suicide of my father was the beginning of a new life for me. The things that I thought I wanted were irrelevant now. My aim wasn’t to be a success, wealthy. I simply challenged myself to get up each morning and breath. Sometimes that’s much harder than it sounds.

“So every day I got up, breathed in and breathed out and I was winning. My focus shifted from the long term broad stroke of having a successful life, to much shorter tasks. Small day to day tasks that gave my life meaning. This new approach worked wonders for me. I became much more easygoing. The troubles I had been carrying throughout the years had become lighter and lighter until they weren’t worth carrying at all. Now I was happy and it wasn’t coming form outward, it was coming form inward.

Danny Quigley presenting a cheque worth £2,000 to Seamus Crossan of Belmont Cottages.

“I focused my life each day to teaching others how to live healthy and look after themselves, mentally and physically. How lucky are we? Lucky to be born, lucky to be living. Lucky to be able to keep trying. To keep looking after ourselves and each other.

“Sometimes it’s okay to be selfish, life can be depressing. Life is challenging. Most things are hard work. But always remember, there are people here for you when you’re not here for yourself. Look after yourself.”

Danny then presented the first two grants of the Danny Quigley Fund, the first to Arc Fitness, which provides help and support to people suffering with addiction and the second to Seamus Crossan, manager of Belmont Cottages, who provide accommodation, support and care for adults with learning disabilities and complex needs.

Danny was also presented with a framed drawing of himself taking a rest after a cycle, which was drawn by Derry artist Dave Campbell.

Gary Rutherford from Arc Fitness being presented with a cheque worth £2,000 at the launch of The Danny Quigley Fund in the Maldron Hotel in Derry. The fund will provide finiancial support to mental health organisations in Derry and Donegal.

Look at some of the pictures from the launch.Peter Jack, lifelong friend of Danny’s father Colm, said: “A decade ago, we didn’t know much about social media but there were pressures on Colm, Danny’s dad, that the rest of us simply weren’t aware of, as we now tragically know.

“Colm was a great athlete and, more importantly, it was very obvious that he doted on his kids. There’s a lovely photograph of Colm pushing Danny on the swing. It’s so sweet. Then there’s the athlete shot of Colm on a bike. He was an international athlete who was so proud to represent this city.

“All sorts of people suffer with mental health problems. A mental health problem is like a physical health problem except you can’t see it. And that makes it worse. We all get down at times, especially when the heat is on. And the heat was on our superstar, Danny, right from day one of his epic ten day journey.

“Danny had trained hard for his ordeal but he knew it wasn’t just a physical challenge, there was a mental challenge that ties in with what we’re doing here tonight and the incredible fundraising and the charities that will benefit from it.”

The Danny Quigley Jersey, which is now for sale from the Bogside and Branywell Health Forum. The sale of the jersey will help to sustain the fund and ensure that more people in Derry and Donegal can benefit from mental health services.

Bronagh Cooper, from the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum said: “Danny really wanted to be transparent. He said this is the peoples money and he wants everyone to see where the money is going.

“This money is for real people sitting in a seat and seeing a therapist or a counsellor. The amount of men who have reached out for support has been amazing since Danny did his 10 in 10 so, for that alone, the impact of Danny’s work has been unbelievable.

“This money will not just be used within the Health Forum. Grants will mean it is spread to other organisations throughout the city and filter out to show people what can be done with that money.

“It is great that we have received all of this money and we are putting it to massive use. A massive part of our conversations with Danny is about sustainability. We have massive plans on how this fund will sustain itself, how we’re going to keep on delivering these services.

“Part of this sustainability is the launch of the Danny Quigley jersey that he wore on his final day of the 10 in 10.”

The jersey costs £30 with proceeds going to the fund. Jerseys can be ordered by contacting the BBHF at [email protected] or call (028) 71 365330

The O'Neills Jersey that Danny wore on the last day of his 10 in 10. The jersey is being sold to ensure the Danny Quigley Fund is able to provide mental health services to everyone who needs it.