Derry hero Danny Quigley in new 'lighthouse' NFC project to help those in need

A Derry athlete who last year swam an incredible 90km from Lifford to Kinnego Bay in Co Donegal in a 'celebration of life' dedicated to those who died by suicide is helping launch a new 'lighthouse' project to direct people in need to help.

The project, being run with the Foyle Search and Rescue charity, will see 'NFC' stickers with the lighthouse logo used to promote the 'celebration of life' challenge placed in strategic locations around Derry.

The NFC technology - the same used for contactless payments using a mobile phone - means people who tap their phone against the lighthouse symbol will be directed to a page with help and advice for those in need.

Read more: Derry mental health champion announces new challenge dedicated to those impacted by suicide

Speaking to Belfast Live, the Derry ironman explained: "The lighthouse project is stemming directly from the celebration of life in a sense. If you looked at the celebration of life logo, it's the same logo on the lighthouse project, it's just a picture of a lighthouse.

"And the idea of these NFC's is - I don't know if you've ever paid for anything in, in a shop by using your phone - but NFCs mean more people have that knowledge of just tapping your phone. This works a similar way. If you just tap your phone on this, you'll be redirected to an internet page and it will be the lighthouse project. Even if you don't have, you don't have the data on your phone, it should take you straight to the page.

"That will give you numbers, it'll give you help, it'll give you a message, it'll give you something that might just be the thing that you need to not do what you're thinking of doing. It's so subtle, you know, it's not in-your-face."

Mr Quigley, who was awarded the Freedom of Derry in November 2021 after raising over £100,000 for charities by completing a gruelling 10 marathons in 10 days in memory of his father Colm, has dedicated himself to raising both vital cash for support services and mental health awareness.

His Celebration of Life challenge last year saw the Derry man take on an incredible 90-100 km open water swim from Lifford to Kinnego in the River Foyle - one of Europe's fastest flowing tidal rivers.

He was supported by volunteers from Foyle Search and Rescue (FSR) as he raised tens of thousands for the Derry charity, and the Bogside and Brandywell Health Forum.

The preservation of life charity Foyle Search and Rescue has now issued a call for organisations to provide "appropriate contact details" to help populate the new database that will be encoded onto the NFC stickers around the city.

But Danny Quigley seems unlikely to stop with just the stickers, with hopes still high for a physical structure to act as a real lighthouse for people in need of mental health support.

"The lighthouse project is kind of a diluted version of what we first wanted, at the beginning, which was an actual structure - something concrete, in the ground," he said.

"It would be the shape of a lighthouse but the idea of it would be to be an outlet like a WiFi access point for mental health advice, or mental health services that are provided locally.

"We were quickly sort of told that it wasn't a good idea at the time, you know, having this structure. I was doing the celebration of life at the time."

He added: "But I haven't given up on the idea. I would hope to see that happen in the future"

If you are in distress you can speak to a trained Lifeline counsellor by calling 0808 808 8000 or find out more at

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