Daniel O'Donnell mourning the loss of his mother Julia

Daniel O'Donnell mourning the loss of his mother Julia

DANIEL O'Donnell is mourning the loss of his beloved mother Julia who died in the early hours of Sunday morning.

The Irish singer informed fans on his website that his 94-year old mother had passed away at 3.50am as her family kept a bedside vigil.

"It is with great sadness that we have to announce that our dear mother Julia passed away peacefully in the loving care of the staff of Dungloe Hospital surrounded by all her family on Sunday, May 18 at 3.50am," he said.

"My siblings John, Margaret, Kathleen, James and myself would like to thank you all for the kindness you have shown to her down through the years. May her gentle soul rest in peace," he added.

His wife Majella also revealed the news to her Twitter followers.

"It is with sadness that I announce the death of Daniel's mother Julia, rest in peace..." said Majella.

O’Donnell returned home earlier in the week from touring in Scotland as his mother’s health deteriorated.

Julia, a native of the small island of Owey, Co Donegal, moved to Kincasslagh when she married Francie O'Donnell.

The couple had five children, the youngest of whom was Daniel. Julia was widowed prematurely in 1968 when Francie died from a heart attack aged just 49.

“When (my father) died, my mother lost her partner in life and was left alone to shoulder the responsibility of rearing us. The love and admiration I hold for my mother knows no bounds because she ensured we never wanted for anything,” O’Donnell said.

He was only six years old at the time, and he praised his mother’s parenting in raising five children alone.

"I suspect people have the impression that my mother kept me hanging on to her apron strings when I was a kid, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

"She wasn’t at all overprotective. I had great freedom, a terrific childhood the same as everyone else in our area. I was always in and out of neighbours’ houses when I was a child and I was full of news," said the singer.

After O’Donnell’s success as a performer, his mother’s home in Kincasslagh became a hub for many of his fans who gathered there for annual tea parties.

Funeral details are currently being arranged.