Global singing star Enya made a rare appearance in Donegal after her niece was selected to represent Donegal in this year’s Mary from Dungloe Festival.
The normally reclusive star delighted onlookers when she joined family and friends for the party.
Student Hannah O’Donnell, 20, from Falcarragh is a daughter of Enya’s sister Deirdre and her husband Seamus.
She was selected from fifteen young women to represent her native county at the festival in July.
Orinoco Flow star Enya was joined by her siblings Moya, Deirdre, Brídín, her brother Bartley and other relatives in the Waterfront Hotel in Dungloe as they waited for the result to be announced before midnight.
Earlier in the day, she attended a private family function in Derrybeg where a niece was receiving her first communion.
Before the festival function, the family enjoyed quiet drinks in the hotel lounge but later moved to the ballroom.
Although she is rarely seen these days in her native Donegal it is understood she does make the occasional flying visit to family functions and sometimes shows up at the family pub at Meenaleck near Annagry.
One of her last public appearances in Donegal was when she attended the funeral of her beloved dad Leo in June 2016.
Enya was among the first of the family to rush to congratulate her niece and she then went on to meet and speak with all the other girls who participated.
The normally camera-shy Enya happily posed for photos with her niece, who studies at NUI Galway, and also with fans who were surprised to see her in the ballroom.
After the formalities, she danced the night away with family and friends and according to one eyewitness, she was really having a ball of a time.
“She seemed to be enjoying herself out dancing with people and posing for photographs. It was the icing on the cake then when her niece was announced as the winner of the Donegal heat. It really added to their celebrations from earlier in the day.”
Another local girl, Breena Boyle, 19, from Keadue was selected to represent the town of Dungloe at the 10-day event that runs from July 27th to August 5th.
Festival organiser Mary Ward said all the participating girls were excellent but unfortunately only two could be selected.
“It was a great night and we have two lovely girls to represent Dungloe and Donegal. It was a big surprise to see Enya among the crowd and we thank her for her support,” she said.