Monday 24 October 2016

Gerry O'Carroll: I've always been impressed with singer Daniel's star quality

Daniel O'Donnell with his mother Julia, who has died aged 94
Daniel O'Donnell with his mother Julia, who has died aged 94

I don't supposed I've ever been called a country and western fan.

My taste in music ranges from sentimental Irish ballads to opera.

The great Irish tenor John McCormack is my all-time favourite singer.

The few concerts I have ever attended was to hear great operatic singer Pavarotti.

However, I have always been hugely impressed by the enormous popularity of country music in Ireland.

For decades one person has dominated like no other. He is of course Daniel O'Donnell. He has sold millions of albums worldwide and has consistently been at the top of the charts.

He has a legion of almost fanatical admirers and a world-wide fan base.

Last Sunday, Daniel played his first concert in 18 months in his birthplace of Dunloe.

The concert was to honour the memory of his late mother who died last year and as a fundraiser to thank the staff at the local hospital for the care she received during her illness.

Fans travelled to this tiny venue from as far away as New York and Australia.

Some years ago Daniel played a concert in aid of a catholic charity in Blackburn in the north of England. During his visit there he stayed in my brother Joe's house who was - and still is - a curate in the local parish.

For weeks after Daniel left, fan mail was still being put through Joe's letterbox.

Now that's what I call star quality.

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