SCHULL is in double mourning this week following the sudden death on Tuesday of Fergus O’Farrell, the lead singer of Interference – less than a week after his friend and musician Colin Vearncombe died following a car crash earlier last month.
There was a poignant irony to the news that Fergus was due to sing at Colin’s funeral in Schull on Wednesday, but died just hours before the ceremony.
‘We’re all numb here, as we were preparing for Colin’s funeral service this week and then we got the news that our good friend Fergus had died,’ said local businessman Jim Kennedy, a good friend of Fergus’.
‘I’ve known Fergus over 29 years now, and he was an amazing character, a guiding light and a ball of energy, both musically and as a friend. He was such a popular guy and everyone loved him.’
Fergus, who suffered from muscular dystrophy, was due to sing at Colin’s funeral service in Schull on Wednesday but was taken ill on Tuesday and, despite calling the emergency services, he didn’t make it.
‘Fergus was a brilliant musician, as well as being an amazing artist, and he was just talented in all directions. It’s a huge loss to all of us who knew him and he will always be in our hearts and we are thinking of his family too,’ added Jim.
Tributes have poured in from people in the music industry who had worked and collaborated with the 48-year-old singer.
Fergus was also a respected visual artist whose work featured in exhibitions in both the Blue House Gallery in Schull and The Grain Store in Ballymaloe.
Philip King, who produces the RTE music series Other Voices said that Interference were the very first band that both he and Glen Hansard asked to play on the very first show of the acclaimed television series.
‘Fergus was three things. He was an artist, an artist and an artist. He dedicated his life to the life of a creative person,’ Philip told The Southern Star.
‘His loss is a blow to the artistic community and creative spirits everywhere. He galvinised people as well because he was, and continues to be, an inspirational figure.’
Fergus wrote the song Gold for the award-winning film Once which starred his good friend, Glen Hansard, who was in Schull two weeks ago recording with Fergus at his home studio.
On hearing of his friend’s death, Glen tweeted, ‘Fergus O’Farrell, A true artist and Hero of mine passed today … And I loved him so.’