Heartbroken father Andrew McGinley has paid tribute to Daniel O’Donnell after the superstar singer helped to raise a staggering €100,000 through a charity show in memory of his three children.
National treasure O’Donnell performed the intimate concert at St Finian’s Community Hall in the village of Newcastle, Co Dublin, on Thursday night for 200 lucky fans who travelled from all over Ireland.
They had won the exclusive Daniel concert tickets in a raffle for Andrew McGinley’s charity As Darragh Did, which supports community groups, clubs and societies all over the country.
Last night’s intimate event took place not far from the McGinley family home in Newcastle where the children - Conor, Darragh and Carla - were killed by their mother Deirdre Morley, who was found not guilty of their murder by reason of insanity in May 2020.
As Darragh Did is one of a number of projects that their devastated father, Donegal-born Andrew McGinley, set up to keep the memories of his children alive.
“Daniel and his manager Kieran Cavanagh instantly agreed to do this special concert when I reached out for their support, and I am so very thankful to both of them,” Andrew told Independent.ie
“It means the world to me to have Daniel here tonight because he is such a popular entertainer with a great heart. When Daniel promoted this fund-raising concert on The Late Late Show last December an incredible €30,000 came in on that night alone.
“I want to thank the Irish people who have supported the As Darragh Did charity and the various projects in memory of Conor, Darragh and Carla. Darragh was involved in everything locally, from football and hurling to drama, and all of those clubs and societies need funding to continue getting children involved as Darragh did.”
Mr McGinley’s friends and the community in Newcastle also helped to make Thursday night’s show a roaring success. They included Michelin-starred chef Derry Clarke and wife Sallyanne, who lost their 16-year-old son, Andrew, to suicide in 2013.
The celebrity chef provided food for the gathering, with support from Mr McGinley’s colleagues in the Sodexo company, while Sallyanne was MC for the evening.
Hotelier Louis Fitzgerald provided free accommodation for the prizewinners at his nearby hotel off the Naas Road, and guests were transported to and from the event by Dualway Coaches.
Speaking before going on stage, Daniel O’Donnell said: “My heart went out to Andrew when I heard about the tragedy. Later I heard him being interviewed on our local Highland Radio and I thought he was such a lovely man. I’m amazed in general by people who face huge tragedy and somewhere seem to get the strength to do the most incredible things because of it.”
Daniel added that when he was asked to perform, the very first concert for Andrew’s charity, As Darragh Did, he accepted without hesitation. “From my point of view, I’m very happy to do something that helps Andrew get through this. It’s little for me to do,” he said.
To support the charity go to www.asdarraghdid.ie