In late July 2015, Daniel took part in the famous ‘Mary From Dungloe’ festival. He got to attend many of the functions over the week and finished everything off by singing ‘Mary From Dungloe’ to the newly crowned Mary, Siobhan Dunne who represented Edinburgh, on the final evening.
In Aug 2015, Daniel got to sing again to another winning lady, this time to the Rose of Tralee , Elisha Brennan from Co.Meath. The crowning cabaret was transmitted live for the first time on Irish TV. Daniel is pictured above with some of the Roses – didn’t they all look absolutely fabulous.
Daniel was honoured by the business & political leaders of Killarney in August 2014 when he was inducted into the ‘Order Of Innisfallen’ by the business and political leaders of Killarney during his run of five sold out shows at the INEC, Gleneagles. This prestigious award is given in recognition of contributions made to the area’s economy, especially in tourism, by people from outside the Killarney area. President of the local Chamber of Tourism & Commerce, Johnny Mcguire, is reported to have said that whilst the INEC has attracted renowned performers from around the world over the years, Daniel ’stood head and shoulders above the rest, in terms of popularity, audience numbers and business generated’. Mayor John Joe Culloty praised Daniel for what he has done for tourism in the Kerry area and INEC Managing Director Patrick O‘Donoghue said that Daniel‘s popularity was unfaltering and that ‘he was one of the greatest entertainers ever to come through the doors of the Gleneagle Hotel‘.
As we all know, Daniel loves his round of Golf. In 2014, Daniel, along with one of his golfing buddies, Paddy Diver, eventually got the opportunity to go to the Ryder Cup in Gleneagles in Scotland, some two years after top golfer Paul McGinley first invited him to the event. They had a fantastic day out, the excitement of the crowd was palpable, the weather beautiful and above all, the golfing was brilliant. It was one of the sporting highlights of the year.
Everyone who is a dedicated fan of Daniel’s knows that he has been a die-hard Corrie fan since the days of Ena Sharples way back when. In 2013, during some free time, Daniel managed to get a visit in to the set where he met many of the Corrie stars. He really enjoyed it and maybe one day, another one of his dreams will come true and he will get a walk on part in the show.
Singer / Songwriter Don Mescall invited Daniel to switch on the Christmas Lights in Greenwich, East London in December 2015 which Daniel was more than happy to do. In doing so Daniel raised £5,000 for the Donegal Mind Wellness Charity at home in Ireland. They had a great evening there, everyone was so nice, but as usual, Daniel had to rush off to another TV engagement before the night was through.
Kieran Cavanagh of KCP presents framed pictures to Daniel to mark 25 years of KCP’s promotion of Sell Out Daniel concerts in Ireland. Kieran says ‘some of the highlights over the 25 years was Daniel’s very first sell out concert at Ireland’s premium venue ‘The Point’ way back in 1996. This was followed by more trips to the point for sold out shows and countless sold out summer tours.
Pic: Sean Reilly (Daniel’s Manager at the time), Daniel, Kieran Cavanaugh (now Daniel’s Manager) and Eddie Rowley (Sunday World).
On Tuesday 19th May, Daniel & Majella got to attend the ‘Pride of Ireland Awards’. These awards are to celebrate the achievements of the unsung heroes throughout the country. Daniel had the privilege of presenting an award to Mary Arrigan who helps people with disabilities learn to swim.
You look at the joy on the faces of those that Mary has helped and it is incredible. On top of this, Mary works as a full time nurse, so to be able to do this as well, is just amazing and shows great dedication on Mary’s part. Thanks to Mary and all those other wonderful people who give selflessly of themselves and their time, the lives of so many people are made so much better.
Daniel & Majella attended the Pride of Britain Awards on the Monday night of week 5 of Strictly. Majella is not one to get star struck, but there were celebrities at every turn. They bumped into David Beckham, Peter & Emily Andre and Michael & Niamh Flatley, and that was only the tip of the iceberg, but it will give you some idea of the calibre of person at the event. It was a fantastic night.
On 22nd June 2012, Daniel was awarded one of the greatest honours he has ever received, that of the Freedom Of Donegal. This honour was awarded to Daniel for his achievements in music, for all the charity work he has done and for his role as a wonderful ambassador. The ceremony, held in the headquarters of Donegal County Council in Lifford, was attended by family, friends, political and civic leaders.
In January 2012, Daniel was surprised and delighted to be given the ‘Extroardinary Lifetime Achievement Award On The World Stage’ by Irelands top selling Sunday newspaper “The Sunday World”. All Of Ireland’s leading Country stars paid tribute to Daniel at the awards concert in Mullingar, Co.Westmeath.
Thousands of fans thronged the streets of Dungloe for the official opening of the Daniel O’Donnell Visitor Centre on May 6th. It made national news headlines as one of the country’s biggest successes of that year. Daniel’s life story and memorabilia are now a tourist attraction in his own hometown, in his own lifetime. This puts him on a par with Dolly Parton (Dollywood), Elvis Presley (Graceland) and Loretta Lynn (Hurricane Falls).
This is the show that Daniel had to risk life and limb for on the back of a London Motorcycle. This was Daniel’s own Christmas Special, so you will see why he simply had to be there. It was recorded in the beautiful setting of Powerscourt House in Co.Wicklow. The guests were very varied, and amongst them were Kristina Rihanoff (his Strictly dance partner), Declan Nerney, Una Foden (Declan’s Niece), Shane Filan of Westlife, Derek Ryan, comedian Pat Short, soccer star Packie Bonner and hypnotist Keith Barry. Everyone had a great night and it was aired on St.Stephen’s night to great acclaim.
This was Daniel’s third successive year as
a presenter on the TV Series ‘Opry An Luir’.
His ability to talk and sing in the Irish Language (Gaeilge) rightfully gained him admiration from TV critics and viewers alike. Daniel takes refresher courses each summer and so his Irish improves year on year and this comes across in each series. Guests this time round included Charlie Landsborough, Louise Morrisey, Brendan Shine, Dominic Kirwan and many more. The series was aired from October onwards.
Daniel met up with presenter and Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman on Owey and Aranmore Islands (off the coast of Donegal) in the autumn of 2015 to film an episode for ‘Holiday Of A Lifetime’. Daniel spent many of his childhood days holidaying on the islands and gave Len the star treatment by treating him to crab claws and seaweed, cooked over an open fire, as they would have done in his grandparents time. Needless to say that they went down a treat and Len really enjoyed his time there with Daniel. The programme aired in February 2016.
It has been hailed as one of Daniel’s most relaxed TV performances when he was interviewed by veteran chat show host Gay Byrne on the top rated “For One Night Only” programme on RTE on August 5th 2011.
Daniel said he enjoyed it so much because ‘it was like sitting down and talking with an old friend’. The programme was centred around songs as opposed to covering his whole career. They picked out five songs and it was these songs that governed what the content of the show was.
The songs were ‘My Donegal Shore’ - the first song Daniel ever recorded, ‘I Just Want To Dance With You’ – the song that got him onto Top Of The Pops, ‘Sweet Queen Of Peace’ – the song Daniel got inspiration to write whilst on a visit to Medjugorie and finally a Rock n’Roll Medley which finished with ‘Tipperary Girl’.
In September 2013, Daniel recorded his 13th PBS Special at the Macombe Centre for the Performing Arts in Michigan. The special, titled ‘Stand Beside Me’ - because of the fact that Daniel fans had been supporting him for over 30yrs at that stage, debuted on PBS’s March 2014 Pledge drive. They recorded a lot of new material for the show that had not been done prior to that. Daniel said it was hard work but very enjoyable and it was well worth the effort in the end as the show turned out to be a great TV Special.
aniel has appeared on the Late Late Show on RTE many times before, but the one in late October 2015 was a very special one. The whole programme was given over to Irish Country Music and got a record audience of 1.4 million viewers. Daniel says ‘We are so lucky here to have so many great performers singing the music that we love’. Guests on the show included Philomena Begley, Big Tom, Dominic Kirean, Nathan Carter, Lisa McHugh and Derek Ryan to mention but a few.