Over the last few weeks rumours were rife that Donegal’s most loved personality Daniel O’Donnell was all set to retire but it seems retirement is one of the last things on the Kincasslagh man’s mind.
With his 50th birthday just around the corner on Monday next, Daniel made the long journey from the Niagra Falls to Dungloe last weekend to take part in the annual switch-on of the Christmas lights which was attended by one of the largest crowds seen on the streets of Dungloe for many years.
Daniel and Majella appeared on stage with the Burtonport Variety Carol Singers, the Lady Mayor of the Rosses, Bridget Sharkey, Debbie Rodgers, the current Mary from Dungloe and, of course Santa in a party that went on for nearly four hours. Daniel discounted any talk of his retirement saying, “Our shows are finished for this year after our successful three week stint in the US and our next shows are on the cruise in February.
“However, I will be doing radio and television work between now and December 20th, so it will be a busy enough time for me until then.
“Of course on the 12th, it’s no secret that I will be celebrating my 50th birthday and I believe that The late, Late Show has organised a bit of a party on Friday night which should be a great occasion.
“Majella and I are going away for a couple of days for the birthday but I don’t know where yet - but I have insisted and she has assured me that it will be somewhere quiet and low key.
“As well as all the recordings you are aware of I have also recorded the Christmas song ‘I’ll be home with bells on’ with a young singer here in Ireland called Lisa McHugh and I’m sure if you visit Lisa’s website you will find out more about that.
Daniel added, “Another exciting venture for me was to record my first ever full song in the Gaelic language.
The song is an Irish version of ‘You Raise Me Up’ and is called ‘Le Cuidiu De’ and it’s from an album of the same name featuring many Donegal artists.
“All the songs on the album are in the Irish language and the proceeds from the album are going to Donegal Hospice.
”For 2012 I will take things a little bit easier if doing a tour in both the United States and Australia, a cruise and of course Killarney is ‘taking things easy’ but I am looking forward to each and every one of them and meeting so many friends.
“Majella and her son Michael and her parents are heading down to Tenerife for Christmas and I will be heading down to join them on the 27th for the New Year after a family Christmas with my mother, Julia and of course the annual midnight mass in St. Mary’s in Kincasslagh.
“I would like to take this opportunity of thanking everybody in Donegal for another great year and I hope everybody will have a very happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas.”