Majella highlights her battle with depression and cancer

Tom Comack


Tom Comack



Launch of WAAR

Majella O'Donnell enjoying a cuppa following the launch of WAAR

Majella O’Donnell, TV celebrity and wife of singing star Daniel O’Donnell, has never hidden her battle with depression.

In her address to the launch of the annual Wild Atlantic Adventure Race (WAAR) 2018 in the Naomh Muire GAA Clubrooms in Mullaghderg on Friday night, Majella once again spoke openly about her battle with the demon depression.

And in an emotional address she revealed how she had contemplated taking her own life on a number of occasions at the height of her depression.

“I’m sure most of you know, I have told my story so many times that I struggled with depression from about 19 years of age,” she told the large gathering, the majority of whom were women.

“I didn’t realise it was depression until I was 36 and after my marriage broke down,” added Majella who spoke entirely without a script for well over 20 minutes.

“I always thought when I was down prior to that, it was usually to do with events like a boyfriend leaving me. It was always boyfriends leaving me.

“I would get really down then and I suppose I had two occasions in my life where I seriously considered suicide.

“I suppose the only reason I didn’t go through with it was because I didn’t have the guts. I was afraid it would go wrong and that I would do it properly.

“Thanks be to God I didn’t and I’m here now to tell the tale.”

Majella, founder of the charity Donegal Health and Wellness, told the gathering that after her marriage breakdown she started to realise there was a pattern going on.

It was only then that she realised that there was a pattern to her depression.

And it was only then that she first sought counselling and read loads of books on depression.

It was as a result of that counselling, over a four to five year period, that she began to come to terms with her depression and began to love herself. For the first time in her life, she said she began to have self worth.

In a broad-ranging address Majella also spoke of her battle with cancer, and the death of her father following a tragic fall at home.

And she spoke about the work being done by Donegal Wellness and her desire to take the wellness to schools.

She also told of how she knew very little about WAAR when approached to perform the official launch of this year’s event.

But after hearing about it and watching the promotion dvd she was impressed. So much so that she had intended to take part in this year’s event until she discovered she had family commitments on the day of the race.

But she did pledge that she would take part in WAAR 2019 and she urged anyone considering competing this year to do so.

WAAR is run and organised by the Naomh Muire GAA Club as part of the club’s health and wellness programme.


This year’s WAAR will be the fourth running of the event which has grown significantly year on year since it was first run in 2015.