Daniel misses mum for Christmas
SINGER Daniel O'Donnell said he will still spend Christmas in Donegal this year despite the death of his mum, Julia.
The 52-year-old said he will return him from a massive United States tour in time to sing at midnight Mass at his local chapel in Co Donegal.
"Of course we'll be home for Christmas," he said.
"This Christmas will be very different for us all, as it will be the first without my mother. She will be greatly missed by all of us, as she loved having all the family home for Christmas."
Daniel said he will spend Christmas with wife Majella at their home in Kincasslagh and will sing at midnight Mass at St Mary's Church in the local village.
The singer said his trip to the States has been made "extra special" this year because wife Majella was able to travel with him. She had to stay in Ireland last year as she battled cancer.
"It was great having Majella with me, as you know last year she was going through treatment at this time, so thank God everything has gone well for her," he said.
The singer has been caught up in the snow storms hitting America on recent days. He is currently in Branson, Missouri.
"It's a lovely hot sunny afternoon but boy it hasn't been like that all the time we've been here," he said.
"We've had the coldest weather I've ever experienced since I first came here in 1997, so it was winter woollies all the way."
Daniel's latest album, Stand Beside Me, has just entered the UK charts - making it the 27th year in a row that he has had an album in the UK charts. His huge army of fans have bought out a special edition collection of songs and videos via the BBC.
Just 1,000 copies of the limited edition Stand By Me double CD and DVD collection were available through the BBC Shop in the UK.
But the special edition, featuring photographs and a hardback signed book, were snapped up by his fans.
Daniel has decided not to tour next year to spend more time with Majella.
The couple's huge number of fans, meanwhile, have been voting to give Majella a boost for her autobiography.
Her book It's All In The Head has been short-listed for a prize at this year's Irish Book Awards. The winners will be announced on Wednesday, with Majella's book about her life one of the favourites for a gong.