Conor McGinty records track for Foyle Search and Rescue and Aware NI

Conor McGinty. Inset in the pic is the late Eamonn Johnston.
Conor McGinty. Inset in the pic is the late Eamonn Johnston.

A talented Derry singer has recorded a poignant song with a heartfelt message to raise awareness of mental illness and raise funds for two local charities.

Conor McGinty is well-known in the city and beyond and recently released his version of ‘Miss You More Than Words Can Say.’

The song was written 10 years ago by Plunkett McCartland and Mickey Coleman to commemorate the anniversary of local man, Eamonn Johnston, who died by suicide. Eamonn, a former ‘Mr Gay Derry’ and ‘Mr Gay UK’ finalist, had just finished making a DVD on mental health, depression and suicide when he died. His mother, Bebe, has since organised awareness and fundraising concerts in the Millennium Forum and ‘Miss You More Than Words Can Say’ was regularly performed there.

Conor told the ‘Journal’ how the current mental ill-health crisis in Derry and Northern Ireland, alongside his own experience of it, encouraged him to approach Bebe, a friend of his, to ask to record the song. All proceeds will go towards Foyle Search and Rescue and Aware Defeat Depression NI. Conor told how he personally knows the importance of talking to someone.

He said: “I did the X Factor in 2016 and things were going great. But, after all the hype died down, I got really low. I wasn’t really leaving the house and dreaded going into work. I kept it all to myself until one day I just broke down. It got better after that, when I spoke to people. It’s good when you have good family and friends for support, but some people don’t have that. People like Aware are so important.”

The video for the song has already been watched over 30,000 times. It is available to buy on iTunes and there is also a JustGiving page, but Conor has also pledged to provide a donation bucket at every gig he does over the next month. Anyone who donates will be given an MP3 or hard copy version of the song. You can buy the track on itunes and donate at www.justgiving.com