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Majella in social media spat over raid on pal Cliff's house

MAJELLA O'Donnell has become involved in a social media spat after criticising the manner of the raid on the home of her friend Cliff Richard.

Majella (54) said she believed the legendary singer had been "treated appallingly" by police after his home in England was searched last week and the operation captured live by the BBC.

The five-hour swoop was part of an investigation into an alleged historic child abuse incident going back to 1985. The singer denies the allegation.

Breast cancer patient Majella and her husband, singer Daniel O'Donnell (52), have been friends with Sir Cliff Richard for many years.

The legendary pop star (73) collaborated in a country-music duet with Majella on her 2010 album 'By Request'.

At the weekend, the mother-of-two criticised the manner of the raid at the singer's Berkshire home while he was abroad last Thursday.

"The way the police have treated Cliff Richard is completely unacceptable," Majella told her 1,620 followers, posting a link to an opinion piece in a UK newspaper carrying the same headline.


The column by Geoffrey Robertson in 'The Independent' noted that the police swoop and ensuing publicity "blasted (Richard's) reputation around the world without giving him the first and most basic right to refute the allegation".

Majella's comments were praised by several of her followers who said they agreed with her.

But one male follower cautioned: "Hope you never have cause to regret that tweet."

Majella replied: "Why would I ever regret it? Cliff has being treated appallingly. What about his rights? There's nothing 2 (sic) regret."

Majella met the star as recently as last June when he was in Ireland for concerts in Belfast, Dublin and Cork.

She posted a snap of them together, tweeting: "Great to spend time with Cliff today before he leaves for his Cork concert. Wonderful man."

Meanwhile, South Yorkshire police have complained to the BBC, accusing it of breaching its own editorial guidelines. The BBC said that one of its journalists approached police with information.