Daniel O’Donnell is in “complete shock” as Sister Kathleen’s funeral is set to take place today after her sudden death
Heartbroken star Daniel O’Donnell paid tribute to his beloved sister Kathleen, who died suddenly at the family home on Friday morning.
The Irish singer was close to his sister, who at 67 was the third oldest in their family of five from Kincasslagh, Co. Donegal.
Kathleen’s funeral is due to take place at St Mary’s Church in Kincasslagh this morning.
Daniel shared that Kathleen had been like a mother to him over the years and was one of his biggest supporters.
“If Kathleen was in your corner, you wouldn’t have needed an army,” Daniel said.
The hugely popular entertainer said he’s still trying to come to terms with Kathleen’s sudden death from a suspected massive heart attack.
“Our whole family is in shock because it happened so suddenly,” Daniel said. “Trish (Kathleen’s daughter) and her young children stayed with Kathleen and her husband John for a few days.
“Kathleen got up early that morning and bathed the little ones and dried their hair. She had made a shopping list and then gone to wash her hair before going to SuperValu with Trish. The list is still on the table.
“It happened so quickly, there was no warning. Kathleen hadn’t been ill. She was fine that morning, doing normal things. That’s why it’s so difficult to understand.”
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Daniel related how Kathleen had been the center of her family. “When she married John in 1979, they moved into the family home and our mother lived with them until she died,” he said.
“When I called Kathleen had all the news and she kept you up to date on everything.”
It was Kathleen and her husband John who drove Daniel to Big Tom’s Recording Studios in Castleblaney on February 9, 1983 – 40 years ago this Thursday – to record his first songs, including My Donegal Shore and Stand Beside Me.
After becoming one of the country’s biggest stars, Daniel bought the Viking House Hotel in Kincasslagh.
“Kathleen and John ran the Viking, she’s been so involved in everything I’ve done over the years,” he said.
Over the years that Daniel hosted a tea party for visitors to the Mary from Dungloe festival at his home, Kathleen was always ready to make tea for her brother’s fans. At one point she figured she was pouring 1,200 cups!
For many years Kathleen also played a leading role at her local Kincasslagh festival where the main attraction was a surprise guest for Daniel on Belle of the Ball.
Over the decades, Kathleen brought luminaries such as American country music legend Loretta Lynn, Coronation Street’s Liz Dawn (Vera Duckworth) and later, when Daniel had married, British pop superstar Cliff Richard to his County Donegal village.
“Kathleen has always been very supportive, I don’t think she missed anything I’ve ever done at home or abroad,” he said yesterday.
“She had infinite energy and would go to the ends of the world for me. When I said recently that I was going to Cresslough to sing at Mass, she was there willing to put me on the path. If I had to go to Dublin afterwards, she would drive me to Dublin if I needed the ride.
“Of course, if you needed to be corrected for something, there was no better woman!”
Daniel reveals that Kathleen’s greatest joy in recent years has been her role as a grandmother.
“Like my mother was with her grandchildren, Kathleen’s grandchildren were everything to her,” he says.
Kathleen’s funeral service will be at 11am tomorrow at St Mary’s Church, Kincasslagh.
She is survived by her husband John, daughters Trish and Fiona, sons John Francis and Daniel, sisters Margaret (Margo), brothers John, James and Daniel, grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law and an extended family.
https://www.independent.ie/style/celebrity/celebrity-news/daniel-odonnell-in-complete-shock-as-sister-kathleens-funeral-to-take-place-today-after-sudden-death-42328642.html Daniel O’Donnell is in “complete shock” as Sister Kathleen’s funeral is set to take place today after her sudden death