| 13.7°C Dublin

Heartfelt song Singer who shared stage with Sheryl Crow releases tribute to late teenager Noah Donohoe

Singer hopes tribute to tragic teen will keep his name alive


Noella Hutton at her Derry home this week

Noella Hutton at her Derry home this week

Noella Hutton at her Derry home this week

A SINGER who has shared the stage with Stevie Nicks and Sheryl Crow has released a powerful musical tribute to late teenager Noah Donohoe.

Derry songwriter Noella Hutton wrote heart-touching track ‘Song 4 Noah’ in just three minutes after a friend asked her to get involved in a memorial concert for the 14-year-old last year.

The musician, who has performed all over the world, says she hopes the single will help keep the St Malachy’s College pupil’s name alive as his family continue to campaign for answers over this tragic death.

“I was so inspired, but in a heartbroken way,” Noella told the Sunday World. “Noah has broken all our hearts.

“It was my friend Julie Ferry who contacted me about five months ago and asked if I would like to get involved in a gig for Noah Donohoe.

“She told me a bit about his case, because I wasn’t really aware of it as I’d been very busy looking after my mum through Covid.


Tragic: Noah Donohoe

Tragic: Noah Donohoe

Tragic: Noah Donohoe

“I started reading into the case and I was so inspired I wrote a song that night, I was so absolutely heartbroken.

“I wrote the song in three minutes, I was so inspired, in a heartbroken way.

“Since then I’ve become very good friends with Noah’s aunt Niamh, and I am trying to do as I can for her and Fiona and writing this song for him is just part of that.”

Noella, whose hugely successful music career took her to America where she sold out gigs and released a critically acclaimed album in the ’90s, has included the touching track on her new album, The First Noella.

There are now hopes Song 4 Noah could make it in to both the UK and Ireland charts, with tens of thousands of the Donohoe family’s supporters being urged to download the single.

The songbird, who has rubbed shoulders with A-list celebrities including Boy George and Mariah Carey, said she just hopes the tribute will continue to keep the teenager’s name alive.

“All I can do is sing it and it’s up to the people, the powers that be to allow that to happen,” added Noella. “It’s not about fame or fortune, it’s about getting Noah’s name never to be forgotten, ever.

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

“That wee boy’s life will not be in vain, as long as I have a breath in me I will be singing Noah’s song and I will be talking about Noah on every platform I can get.”

Noah’s body was found in a north Belfast storm drain on June 27, six days after going missing on a bike ride to meet friends.

A post-mortem later found his cause of death to be drowning. His family say many unanswered questions still remain surrounding his death

A full coroner’s hearing into his unexplained death is due to take place in January 2022.

At a pre-inquest review hearing earlier this month, the coroner heard examination of a laptop belonging to the Belfast schoolboy will be a “core issue” in his inquest.

Family solicitor Niall Murphy sought assurance from police that a “technical” problem encountered by forensic investigators in examining the Chromebook had been overcome.

Mr Murphy said findings in relation to the 14-year-old’s “internet access and use” could be a key factor in the inquest.

During the review hearing before coroner Joe McCrisken, Mr Murphy also sought an update from police on whether officers were satisfied with their engagement with a Canadian author whose book Noah had in his possession when he went missing.

Police investigating the death have been in contact with Jordan Peterson, who wrote the self-help book 12 Rules For Life.

There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by the author.

Replying to Mr Murphy, the coroner said the police inquiries in regard to the book focused on Instagram activity on accounts not associated with Mr Peterson.


Tune of hope: Noella Hutton clutches a picture of Noah at her Derry home this week

Tune of hope: Noella Hutton clutches a picture of Noah at her Derry home this week

Tune of hope: Noella Hutton clutches a picture of Noah at her Derry home this week

“The inquiries really relate to Instagram accounts, as opposed to Mr Peterson himself, and the keeper, holder or custodian of those Instagram accounts,” Mr McCrisken told the court.

The coroner told Mr Murphy he would engage with police to establish progress in relation to the laptop examination and their inquiries related to Mr Peterson.

Mr Murphy also asked for an update on when police would return other items belonging to Noah, such as his phone, Kindle and schoolbooks.

Proceedings were watched by Noah’s mother Fiona and her sister Niamh.

Earlier, a group of supporters gathered outside Belfast Coroner’s Court holding banners and pictures of the schoolboy.

The family’s campaign since his death has drew huge support from members of the public and celebrities.

Last month, hundreds took part in a white-line show of support from Belfast city centre to Cavehill.

Fiona Donohoe said she felt “overwhelmed” when hundreds followed her “pilgrimage” to Cavehill in a call for answers about what happened to Noah.

p.devlin@ sundayworld.com

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices