Singing stars Daniel O’Donnell and his sister Margo took time off their busy schedules on Friday to sing at the funeral of a devoted fan and family friend.
Maureen McCarthy of Loughanure, West Donegal died suddenly earlier this week while out celebrating her 43rd birthday with her mum Margaret at a restaurant at nearby Annagry. She was a huge music lover and a great fan of singers Daniel and Margo and also a close friend of the O’Donnell family for years. She had all their music and loads of their photographs in her home. She moved to Donegal from the UK with her mum Margaret some thirteen years ago after falling in love with the place through her association with the O’Donnell family. Although she did have some health issues in recent years, pet lover Maureen had driven to the restaurant just a short time before she passed away so suddenly.
Neighbours who visited her in her home earlier in the day said she was in “fine form” and looking forward to the dinner outing with her mum.
Daniel and wife Majella were among the first mourners to arrive at the house to sympathise, while Margo travelled from Monaghan for the wake and funeral. At the funeral Mass in St Mary’s Star of the Sea Church, Annagry Daniel and Margo joined together to sing several hymns including ‘Rainbows End’ and ‘Until we meet again.’ Daniel said he had known Maureen for many years and that she was a great fan of his music.
“Maureen was a lovely lady. She loved music and always kept in touch. Her sudden passing at a young age is a terrible shock for her mum and extended family,” he said.
Margo, who learned of her death when she had phoned Maureen’s mobile phone to wish her a happy birthday, added: “Maureen was a lovely person and everyone is shocked at her sudden passing. She often visited me in my home in Castleblaney. She did have some health issues but no one expected her sudden death at an early age.”
She was laid to rest in Belcruit cemetery near Kincasslagh fulfilling a wish that her grave would overlook the sea on the Donegal coastline.
Maureen’s son Daniel, her brother Christopher and mother Maureen were joined by neighbours and friends at the funeral.