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Donegalís star, Daniel shines in Banbridge

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

HOUSEWIVES' favourite Daniel O'Donnell entertained legions of fans, both young and old, last week when he appeared in Banbridge.

The Irish singer was in town to perform a special intimate concert for his fans who had secured tickets for the Banbridge Rotary Club's 'Evening with Daniel' in the Parish Centre.

And there was no denying that despite having been on the music scene for decades, Daniel was still in demand.

When the tickets went on sale, they sold out within an hour with hundreds of people queuing the streets of Banbridge.

In addition to his concert, Daniel also made a special guest appearance at the Donard School in Banbridge, where he performed and spoke to children, teachers and guests for one hour.

Speaking to The Outlook after singing for - and indeed with - the children, Daniel said it was lovely to see the children enjoying themselves, adding that they "get so much out of music".

“It was lovely to meet the children. There was such a great atmosphere and it proved to me the importance of music and dance in all aspects of life, especially for children in a school like this.

“They seem to get so much out of music and it shows just how important it is in the school curriculum."

Daniel chatted to the school principal and vice principal about the extension to the school, which is currently taking place.

He said the difference between performing in front of adults and children could be seen, as "young ones tell you like it is".

Daniel recalled what one pupil at the school had asked him.

“One wee boy says to me you don't look like you do in your pictures, so I asked him what age did he think I was.

“He said he thought I was about 40 or 41, so I will agree with that!" said Daniel - who shockingly does not like tea or coffee - but is a huge fan of Bourneville chocolate!

This wasn't Daniel's first appearance in Banbridge, as he performed at the old Iveagh cinema a few years ago.

However, his connection to the town has been cemented even further.

“Myself and Lynda (president of Banbridge Rotary Club) share a granddaughter, Olivia.

“She is one and a half years old and she is great value. I eat my porridge in the morning and she has to have the same," said Daniel.

After finishing up at the school, Daniel made his way to the Parish Centre for a sound check, as it was set to be his first time at the building.

He said he had never sang "Star of the County Down" before but he was trying to learn the words of it!

After the concert, Daniel said he would be making his way back down to Dublin where he had other engagements within the following few days, before he heads away on a cruise in a few weeks' time.

“You get used to the travelling and it is in fact better to travel at night," he said.

Principal of Donard School, Edel Lavery said it had been a "lovely afternoon".

“There was great excitement about the school and we are just so grateful that Daniel came and took time out to meet and sing with the children.

“They really enjoyed it and it was a lovely afternoon.

“Needless to say the staff also very much enjoyed it!" Mrs Lavery.

Jimmy Smyth, who is chair of the school's Board of Governors, asked Daniel for a favour while he was there.

“Paula my daughter would be a huge fan of Daniel's so I phoned her and just put Daniel straight on to talk to her.

“When I was talking to her afterwards, she thought it was me joking and she could not believe it was him.

“It was very good of Daniel to give up his time to come here.

“He got a good reception from the children and that is because of the way he interacted with them. He has a real ability to remember names," said Jimmy.

Daniel's appearance on Monday took place just four days after he showed his fun side while attending his niece's wedding in County Donegal.

Bride Patricia Doogan was left stunned when her uncle and a host of other singing stars organised a music tribute during her wedding Mass.

It is fair to say it echoed scenes from the film 'Love Actually' as the singers were scattered among the congregation at the service, earlier this month.

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