THE family of the late Margaret McCarthy, who died last Sunday, got the surprise of their lives when Daniel O’Donnell ended up singing down a phone at their mum’s funeral yesterday in Innishannon.
Margaret’s daughter Ann Phayer said it was ‘unbelievable’ that he went to such effort to sing ‘Beyond The Rainbow’s End’ at their mum’s graveside, who she said was a super fan of the Donegal singer.
‘Mum was a big fan of Daniel throughout the years and she used to go to all his concerts. She kept all his calendars and tapes too and she would have been thrilled to have had Daniel singing at her funeral,’ Ann told The Southern Star.
It transpired that a friend of Ann’s sister Catherine got in contact with Daniel to see if he would put up a condolence on RIP.ie.
‘We were looking through them on Monday night when we spotted the one by Daniel and Majella and we couldn’t believe it and our dad Jimmy was delighted too.’
However, Daniel did one better and rang Catherine the following morning as well.
‘She was talking away to him and he said our mum had a lovely smile and he was great and chatted away and was in no rush to get off the phone.’
The family had planned to play Daniel’s song ‘Beyond The Rainbow’s End’ over a loudspeaker at the graveside but their undertaker, Robert Gabriel came over and told them that they had the man himself.
‘One of the undertakers came over with Daniel on the phone and he started singing and the microphone was put up to the phone. It was unbelievable and absolutely fantastic. And when he was finished he even had a good chat with dad.’
Not to be upstaged by the Donegal crooner, Jimmy also sang the song ‘Come by the Hills’ and it was a fitting end to Margaret’s funeral.
It turned out that Daniel had been watching the funeral mass online and then made contact with the undertakers after hearing Ann’s eulogy.
‘The funeral was lovely and intimate and we walked her up the main street of the village so she would have been delighted to have stopped traffic. The street was lined with people too and she was carried from the church gate to the door,’ added Ann.
Margaret is survived by her husband Jimmy, daughters Ann and Catherine and sons Cormac and James.