Daniel in mourning as mum Julia (94) sadly dies
Published 18/05/2014 | 09:16
Singer Daniel O'Donnell is in mourning today following the death of his beloved mother Julia in the early hours of this morning.
A heartbroken Daniel (52) broke the news to fans that his 94-year old mother had passed away at 3.50am as her family kept a bedside vigil.
"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," said Daniel.
"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's wife Majella also revealed the news to her Twitter followers.
"It is with sadness that I announce the death of Daniel's mother Julia, rest in peace..." said 54-year-old Majella.
The Donegal singer rushed home earlier this week from gigging in Scotland as his mother took very ill.
Friends of the star have been posting messages of love and support this morning.
"RIP Julia, a great woman," wrote one.
"You will all remain in our thoughts and prayers. Love to you Daniel," another friend posted.
"Our thoughts are with you," said another.
Julia, 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. Julia was widowed prematurely in 1968 when Francie died from a heart attack aged just 49.
“When (my father) died, my mother lost her partner in life and was left alone to shoulder the responsibility of rearing us. The love and admiration I hold for my mother knows no bounds because she ensured we never wanted for anything,” said Daniel.
Daniel was only six years old and he fondly recalls how Julia 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," said the performer.
In recent years Julia went to live with Daniel’s sister Kathleen and her family in Kincasslagh before moving to nursing home care in Dungloe.
Funeral details are currently being arranged.