A song in aid of Age Action Ireland and the Irish Red Cross Hardship fund for families coping with Covid-19.

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donate to the special age action ireland covid-19 hardship fund


'on horseback'

At a time when coming together means staying apart, the call to help in any way we can has never been higher in people’s minds. COVIDAID Ireland was devised by Irish journalist, Fergal Bowers, who provides the spoken word on the song, along with Irishman Gary Grant (who has produced the track) and is now based in Canada. Fergal collaborated with Gary to create this magical virtual coming together of musicians and singers from all four corners of Ireland using social distancing measures, while he is under lockdown in Toronto. Gary felt strongly he wanted to do something to help those at home in Ireland, his own mother falls into the vulnerable category. Doing what Gary does best, ‘On Horseback’ is a fitting tribute to those older people currently cocooning by speaking of freedom and hope and a time again when people can look forward to fully enjoying and treasuring the outdoors, appreciating the simple things in life, nature, each other and togetherness.

Gary Grant is a producer and composer, his music can be heard across platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Video, Hulu, Showtime, Natural Geographic. He has worked with many Hollywood film composers, most recently with Christopher Young. As a percussionist, Gary has performed extensively, including two years on Broadway with Riverdance.

Singer Gemma Goodey delivers the beautiful main female vocal, supported by a choir of children – Noah Byrne, Robyn Byrne, Meabha Lynch, Lauryn Rix, Veronica Ricketts, Niamh Grant, Moya Grant, Isla Burke, Emma Burke, Eoin Burke and Aoibhe Smyth.

The guitarist on the song is Kyle Tyther. Along with Gemma, the pair are an eclectic two piece based on the west of Kerry, going by the name of Foxtales.

All funds raised through the download sale of the specially recorded cover song, will go to the charity, Age Action Ireland and its hardship fund, which it has established with the Irish Red Cross.

The funds raised will assist those most affected by Covid-19, in this time of national emergency.

The Governance oversight for the project is being provided by one of Ireland’s top business advisory firms, BDO Simpson Xavier. BDO Simpson Xavier will report on the final fund raised by the overall charitable project.

The single is available for purchase digitally through the links below…

funds raised through the sale of the song are going to AGE ACTION IRELAND's COVID-19 hardship fund, set up with the Irish Red Cross.

Your support will make a huge difference

“Age Action is extremely grateful to benefit from this unique charity music project that aims to assist older people who are struggling to meet the costs associated with cocooning and social distancing.  

All funds raised will go towards our COVID-19 Hardship Fund, launched in partnership with the Irish Red Cross. There has been an overwhelming demand for financial support so far with over 1,000 applications being processed from older people experiencing real difficulty to meet the increased costs associated with cocooning.  

We continue to receive new applications and enquiries every day which shows the hardship that older people are experiencing with increased bills, fuel poverty and supports to minimise social isolation.  

Age Action needs to raise at least €250,000 to be able meet current need so we hope that the public will get behind COVIDAID Ireland, download the song or donate at the COVIDAID Ireland GoFundMe page today to help us help older people in vulnerable situations.”

Paddy Connolly, Chief Executive of Age Action Ireland

main sponsor


The main sponsor for the project is Uniflu, owned by Irish pharmaceutical company Phoenix labs.

Sarah Jayne Brady from Uniflu said: “We are thrilled to support this fantastic initiative. We are working hard to ensure continuity of supply across all our products, enabling access to these medicines through your local pharmacy. We are extremely proud to support COVIDAID Ireland and play our part in this unique movement that will undoubtedly bring people closer together. During these unprecedented times, it is so important to protect and look after those who are most vulnerable within our community.”

Our Partners

Along with Age Action Ireland and the Irish Red Cross the initiative is also being supported by the Irish Pharmacy Union, with community pharmacies promoting the song via information posters. Community pharmacies are providing a vital link during the Covid-19 crisis to vulnerable groups in the community, supplying medicines and providing other supports.

The Project

"On Horseback" was re-recorded in recent weeks, using social distancing measures. It was produced by Irishman, Gary Grant in his studio in Toronto, Canada. Artists voices were recorded separately in Ireland and sent to Gary who edited and produced the final cover track.

Originally recorded by Mike Oldfield in 1975, with words by Mike Oldfield and William Murray, ”On Horseback”,  has been re-imagined musically and specifically chosen as an inspirational, timeless composition. This version has an Irish infusion, aimed at promoting solidarity across the generations.

The cover version of the song, speaks to freedom and hope and a time again when people can look forward to fully enjoying and treasuring the outdoors, appreciating the simple things in life, nature, each other and togetherness.

sincere thanks

to publishers bmg and universal music group ireland

and the following people who provided major assistance to the covidaid ireland project

Fergal Bowers

Fergal Bowers has been a journalist for 40 years. He has specialised in covering health issues since 1988 and has been Health Correspondent for RTE News since 2004. He is also the author of three books.

Gary Grant

Gary Grant is a music composer and producer from the North side of Dublin. He is based between Dublin and Toronto, where he is in demand writing music for live shows, film and TV.  At nineteen years old, he was performing on Broadway, and has since studied and performed music around the world, including a BA degree from the Royal Irish Academy of Music. 

Fox Tales

Foxtales  can be seen playing all over the Dingle peninsula, playing laid-back classy jazz & blues, Gemma & Kyle have been playing stylish Americana and upbeat Folk with many collaborations throughout the years. They have a debut album that is coming late this summer, with a single expected soon.

stephen macken

Stephen Macken is a cameraman and director working for Riverside Television. He has worked on several charity singles in the last decade, four of which have been top ten hits in Ireland including producing 2012’s No.1 hit, Tiny Dancer by A Song For Lily-Mae, the biggest selling Irish charity single in the history of the Irish charts. His work has benefitted Neuroblastoma research, Pieta House, the Children’s Medical Research Foundation, and other worthy beneficiaries.


A unique new charity musical project, COVIDAID IRELAND has been launched, to meet the unprecedented challenge presented by the coronavirus in Ireland.


Kathryn Mason



Financial governance

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