Rockin' Rowley: 'I'm glad Daniel didn't take my advice!'
Philomena Begley, who was recently honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Irish Country Music Association, has never forgotten the day she tried to dissuade a young Daniel O'Donnell from becoming a singer.
The 'Queen of Country' remembers being pregnant with her first child and up to her elbows in flour baking bread when Daniel arrived unexpectedly into her kitchen one afternoon in 1980.
Daniel, she recalls, plucked at his jumper and shifted nervously from foot to foot before finally announcing that he wanted to become a singer. He was looking for advice.
Philomena knew that Daniel was then doing a business course in Galway Regional College. "Stick to the books, Daniel," she told him.
"At the time it wasn't an easy business to be in," Philomena says today.
"It wasn't as good as when I was starting out, so I thought it was best for him to get his education and have something to fall back on."
With hits like 'Blanket On The Ground,' Philomena became one of the biggest attractions in Ireland.
But the entertainer from Pomeroy, Co Tyrone, says her singing career happened by chance.