I perhaps became the envy of many women when I spoke to Irish entertainer Daniel O’Donnell on valentines day, our conversation predominatley about his upcoming trip to Tasmania. Daniel is back in Tasmania this March to perform concerts in Hobart and Launceston.
Daniel has visited Tasmania on many occasions, but like many touring artists, working to a tight schedule,he has not had the chance to explore Tasmania at any length However he tells me he has always enjoyed the drive from Launceston to Hobart and his impression of what he sees is one of ‘familarity’ with Ireland,that it is ‘like home’ and he has an ‘affinity’ with it as an island.
In Daniel’s birthplace of Donegal his clan of O’Donnell were kings of the region, in a modern day twist the loyalty and devotion he inspires in his fans is almost monarchical.
However, beyond this historical kinship to kings, Daniel is a fascinating person beyond the music, he has a spiritual heritage from his father who was a seventh son of a seventh son. This particularly rare relationship Daniel explains to me was relevant to his father through a clever calculation. Before his father’s birth there were the the requisite number of boys, including the birth of twins,which is considered and counted as one birth, making Daniel’s dad a seventh son.
Being a seventh son of a seventh son, due to its exclusivity and the sacredness of the number seven with its many spiritual references, imbues the person with extraordinary healing abilities and so it was with Daniel’s father. Daniel says even though his father was catholic the ritual associated with the healing process seemed a mix of pagan and Christian belief. The rules associated with the process of healing deemed it to be administered after 12 pm or at least before the sun rose. Following from this healing ability the seventh son of the seventh son was considered a spiritual or holy man and Daniel believes that is how his father was viewed. Such individuals are sometimes called the ‘cure’ or ‘the charm’.
Which brings us full circle to Daniel himself who although not a seventh son has been, through his own charm and music able to administer another kind of healing.
Such is the fame Daniel has achieved in Ireland and further afield that in his hometown of Donegal a visitor centre has been created in his honour. Daniel tells me that the centre is proving to be a great success and helping the Irish economy with over 20 thousand visitors attending the display, an amazing result considering that the centre is not on the way to anywhere, that their intention is to visit the centre.
The centre contains contents and memorabilia of a musician who has achieved love and adulation from around the world. Some of the items on display, include Daniel and his wife Majella’s wedding outfits, various gold discs and awards he has accumulated over the years.
With all these achievements I ask Daniel what further ambitions he might have, knowing he has a long held wish to one day guest star in Coronation Street, a wish he tells me is still a pipe dream.
Daniel does share with me that one ambition would be to perform in musical theatre.
Daniel’s new album ‘A picture of you’ is out now and you can see Daniel on his Tasmanian tour; March 5 at the Wrest Point Casino and March 4 at Princess theatre Launceston. For those that have seen Daniel in concert before, this present tour may also involve some surprises for fans! One surprise that may not be so welcome is the news that after early next year Daniel is going to take a break from touring for an extended period to concentrate on family life so this might give fans some extra encouragement to attend.