Donegal star Daniel O’Donnell has paid tribute to his mother’s creativity and kindness in a touching interview.
The singer shared memories of his mum Julia, who passed away in 2014 at the age of 94.
Speaking today on The Ryan Tubridy Show, Daniel remembered Julia’s fondness for knitting and recalled a star-studded list of recipients of her works.
“She used to knit, even up until about two weeks before she died she was knitting gloves.
“She sent them to the queen, two popes and Jim McGuinness got a pair, Neil Lennon, Obama…. different people. She had this thing of sending gloves to people,” Daniel said.
Today’s Ryan Tubridy was broadcast live from Arranmore Island, while Daniel called into the programme by telephone from his tour in the USA.
“It’s the most wonderful place for a night of entertainment” – Daniel said of Arranmore. He cherished his great connections with the island and said he received great support from locals.
“We always made money in Arranmore when we made money nowhere else,” Daniel said.
Daniel also warmly recalled the support he and his sister had from their mother during their careers.
“She was very supportive of both myself and Margaret as far as the music was concerned.”
“She loved music and was so involved in everything we did,” Daniel said.
As today’s Tubridy show was focused on Arranmore and the Wild Atlantic Way, Daniel looked back on his poignant return to the island for a special concert in Julia’s memory.
He celebrated the strength of his mum to be able to visit the island in her final years. Julia came from the nearby Owey Island and loved going to Arranmore, he said.
“She just loved going to Arrain, and it wasn’t an easy trip at her age. Even though the ferry was there she still had to don heavy clothes and be ready for all weather… but nothing would ever stop her.”
“Island people are made of sterner stuff than the likes of you and me,” Ryan said.