Daniel and Majella pictured in the popular visitor centre which charted the couple's success over the years PICTURE: MATT BRITTON
There was widespread shock when it emerged this week that the Daniel O'Donnell Visitor Centre in Dungloe had been sold and was closing down.
There were many messages on all social media platforms and extensive coverage nationally with many recalling their memories and indeed regret that the popular centre was to be no more.
However, the Democrat can reveal that it is not all bad news for Dungloe,
The premises known as “Steppers” and the centre will both combine to form a top class hotel, restaurant and bar in the town centre.
This is yet further progression in a town that has integrated into Donegal's Wild Atlantic Way and is quickly becoming a destination holiday location.
With a huge extension being carried out in the Waterfront Hotel which includes a luxury spa and additional bedrooms. the redevelopment of the renowned Sweeney's Hotel and now this further addition to the hotel stock, things are looking very bright.
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A spokesperson for the development told the Democrat: “I suppose it is the end of an era with the Daniel Centre closing down - it has been a great attraction and has evoked great memories for many from far and wide.
“Our new development which will include the addition of top quality bedrooms and restaurant as well as a rebranding and refurbishment of the existing “Stepper's” bar will further enhance Dungloe as a strong tourism destination and provide much needed sustainable jobs. We would hope to open phase one of our development in mid May.”
The Visitor Centre has charted the rise of the popular entertainer from his humble roots in Kincasslagh through to his huge international acclaim as a singer and entertainer.
Items on show included the array of Gold, Platinum and Silver discs for record sales, the “This is Your Life” book presented to him on the popular TV show, and exhibits associated with his appearances in Nashville.
The wedding outfits worn by Daniel and Majella at the Clanree Hotel in Letterkenny along with the white suit that he wore when he was a member of his sister Margo’s band brought great joy to his many fans.
There was a touch of sadness in the town this week but one local commented, “As long as we have the real thing, Daniel and Majella here, we'll all be fine.”