Sadness at death of Daniel O'Donnell's mother

Sun, 18/05/2014 - 11:38 -- Editor

The death has been announced of Daniel O'Donnell's 94-year-old mother.

Mrs Julia O’Donnell passed away at 3.50am at hospital in Dungloe with her family around her.

Daniel issued a statement to say: “It is with great sadness that we have to announce that our dear mother Julia passed away peacefully in the loving care of the staff of Dungloe Hospital, surrounded by all her family on Sunday, May 18 at 3.50am."

“My siblings John, Margaret, Kathleen, James and myself would like to thank you all for the kindness you have shown to her down through the years. May her gentle soul rest in peace,” he added.

Daniel came home earlier this week from performing in Scotland as his mother took very ill.

Julia O’Donnell, a native of the small island of Owey, Co Donegal, moved to Kincasslagh when she married Francie O’Donnell. The couple went on to have five children, the youngest Daniel.

Mrs O’Donnell was widowed in 1968 when her husband died from a heart attack aged 49. Daniel was only six years old and he has recalled how his mother raised her five children single-handedly.

“I suspect people have the impression that my mother kept me hanging on to her apron strings when I was a kid, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

“She wasn’t at all overprotective. I had great freedom, a terrific childhood the same as everyone else in our area. I was always in and out of neighbours’ houses when I was a child and I was full of news,” he said.

In recent years Mrs O’Donnell went to live with her daughter Kathleen and her family in Kincasslagh before moving to nursing home care in Dungloe.