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'I have no memories of my father' - Daniel O'Donnell on loss, God, and trying for a baby with Majella

Daniel O'Donnell talks to Barry Egan about Black Lives Matter, human failings, God, army Border checks as a kid, his experience of lockdown, trying for a baby with Majella, and being part of independent.ie's The Great Big Irish Thank You on Virgin Media One

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Daniel O'Donnell will take part in the Great Big Irish Thank You on October 4

Daniel O'Donnell will take part in the Great Big Irish Thank You on October 4

Daniel with his wife Majella, whom he married in 2002. Pic: Mark Condren.

Daniel with his wife Majella, whom he married in 2002. Pic: Mark Condren.

Daniel with his beloved mum Julia who passed away in 2014. Photo: Declan Doherty/PA Wire

Daniel with his beloved mum Julia who passed away in 2014. Photo: Declan Doherty/PA Wire

Big gig... Coronas Danny O'Reilly. Picture By David Conachy.

Big gig... Coronas Danny O'Reilly. Picture By David Conachy.

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Daniel O'Donnell will take part in the Great Big Irish Thank You on October 4

Julia and Francis O'Donnell's grave is only "a mile or two" from where their son Daniel lives in Donegal. The singer visits them at St Mary's cemetery in Belcruit as often as he can.

Daniel believes death is the start of a new journey. Sometimes the many years between his parents starting their respective new journeys has caused Daniel some amusing graveside confusion - Julia died in 2014, at 94; Francis in 1967 when he was 49 and Daniel barely six.

"I say, 'Well, Mam, hello there'. I forget that my father is there too. He is there such a long time. Sometimes I have to say, 'We never mention you at all'." Daniel doesn't leave flowers on the grave because his mother "wasn't a great woman for flowers". He has no memory of what his father was like.