Singer Daniel O’Donnell has spoken of his heartache after his first Christmas without his mother, and his joy after step-daughter Siobhan accepted a marriage proposal from her boyfriend.
The singer was speaking from Tenerife where he is on holidays until the end of the month.
“Our Christmas certainly was different this year as it was our first year without my mother,” said the Donegal singer.
“Even though she wasn’t there she was never far from all of our minds and we talked about her often.
“Christmas Eve was very busy. I joined the choir in our local church for midnight Mass. There really is something very special about this service for me. After Mass, as we have done for many years,we went back to my sister Kathleen’s house for homemade soup.
“It was then that my mother’s presence was really missed as she was always sitting in the corner waiting to greet us all as we returned from Mass.”
But he said the mood changed shortly afterwards - with that marriage proposal.
“When we got back to our own house Majella, Michael, Siobhan and Siobhan’s boyfriend Gavin opened presents from underneath the Christmas tree,” said Daniel.
My daughter Siobhan got engaged yesterday to her boyfriend Gavin Shields! I'm so happy for them both. Here's to 2016! pic.twitter.com/xUUEuUxPE7— Majella O Donnell (@Majodonnell) December 26, 2014
“We got a great surprise and were delighted to be present when Gavin proposed to Siobhan. Thankfully for Gavin she said Yes! There was tears and laughter all around.”
He said the rest of Christmas was spent “as usual eating too much and watching television”.
He added: “I got to see my favourite movie twice and watched it in its entirety “The Sound of Music” and I love it now as much as ever.”
Daniel also thanked those who voted for wife Majella’s biography in the Bord Gais Energy Book Awards.
“She was absolutely delighted and thanks to everyone who voted for her. We had a wonderful night at the award ceremony and it was nice for me to sit on the sidelines for a change,” he added.