Sunday 23 July 2017

Daniel O'Donnell breaks self-imposed concert ban to perform at rain-drenched gig

Daniel O'Donnell performing at the concert in Dungloe. (North West Newspix)
Daniel O'Donnell performing at the concert in Dungloe. (North West Newspix)
Daniel O'Donnell with John and Jean Williams who travelled ocernight from Wales to be at his homecoming concert in Dungloe. (North West Newspix)
Daniel O'Donnell fans Patti Bies and Karen Birt who travelled from Michigan in the USA to be attend his concert in Dungloe. (North West Newspix)
Daniel O'Donnell fans Mary Breslin and Frances McManus keep try at the concert in Dungloe. (North West Newspix)
Daniel O'Donnell fans Emily and Lauren Duggan at the concert in Dungloe. (North West Newspix)
Daniel O'Donnell performing at the concert in Dungloe. (North West Newspix)
Happy Daniel ODonnell fans singing to his songs despite the rain at the concert in Dungloe. (North West Newspix)
A happy Daniel ODonnell fan singing to his songs despite the rain at the concert in Dungloe. (North West Newspix)
Singing along with Daniel O'Donnell during his concert in his home town of Dungloe. (North WEst Newspix)
Despite the rain a large crowd attended the charity concert by Daniel O'Donnell in the car park of the local Co-op in his hometown of Dungloe. (North West Newspix)

Greg Harkin

THERE aren't many community hospital fund-raising events which can attract people from half-way around the globe.

But when Daniel O'Donnell breaks his self-imposed concert ban to perform for a local charity, it had fans flocking from all over the world.

The country music star even missed Donegal's clash with Tyrone just to raise money for the hospital where his mother Julia died in May last year.

The original gig had been due to take place a year ago, on the evening of his mother's death at Dungloe Community Hospital.

"We're finally getting around to it now," said Daniel just before he took to the stage in front of 2,500 fans in a wind and rain-swept car park in the centre of the town.

"My mother died there last year on the day we had been planning this and I said we'd definitely do it another time and we are here now.

"The Dungloe Community Hospital is like other community hospitals around Ireland. They provide vital care for elderly people close to their families and communities. It is so important.

"I saw for myself what the staff did for my mother, not just in her final days, but in the years beforehand when she was cared for there from time to time.

"Times are difficult for all community hospitals and anything extra they can get to provide a better service is good."

The Director of Nursing at the hospital Sue Islam revealed it's not the only time Daniel has helped out.

"He visits the hospital regularly and he does a lot behind the scenes that no-one ever hears about," she said.

The singer met fans who had made the trek from all over Ireland, Australia and America for the concert.

Among them were Dorothy Sullivan from Dakota, and Phyllis Wicinski and Sandra Helms from California.

"He's not playing gigs again until August next year so we weren't going to miss this one in Donegal," said Dorothy.

"As soon as the date was confirmed we booked our tickets and our flights so we could be here.

"It was so so special to be here, especially here in Daniel's home county."

John and Jean Williams travelled on the overnight ferry from Wales before driving to Dungloe for the gig.

"It was worth the journey," said Jean.

"I wouldn't have cared if it had snowed from the heavens. Nothing was going to stop us seeing this."

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