Daniel O’Donnell to take a sabbatical from music

Singer from Donegal has come to realisation that ‘life is short’

Singer Daniel O’Donnell who announced on his website this morning that he is planning to take a break from performing.  Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Singer Daniel O’Donnell who announced on his website this morning that he is planning to take a break from performing. Photograph: Frank Miller/The Irish Times

Fri, Feb 21, 2014, 09:59

Singer Daniel O’Donnell is to take a break from music next year to spend more time with his wife who is being treated for cancer.

In a statement on his website today the Donegal native said he will cease performing in February next year and would not perform again until “at least” the middle of 2016.

The singer, who is currently touring New Zealand and Australia, said he and his wife had “taken stock of things” following Majella’s cancer diagnosis and treatment and had come to the realisation that “life is short”.

Video: Majella O'Donnel shaves her head for charity

In his statement O’Donnell said: “We thank God that (Majella’s) treatment and surgery has been successful. Through all of this we have a lot of time to reflect and take stock of things and it makes us realise that life is short.”

O’Donnell said he could not say how long the break would be but confirmed that his performances on the Gertrude Byrne Caribbean cruise finishes in February 2015 would be his last confirmed performances.

However, the singer stressed he was taking a sabbatical and was “not retiring”.

“For me this was a very big decision but there are a number of things that Majella and I want to do and even if we live to be 90 (which I hope we do) I don’t want to have to say ‘I wish we took the time to do such and such’.”

Majella O’Donnell is due to appear on RTE’s Late Late Show this evening. She raised an estimated €600,000 for cancer charities last year when she shaved her head live on the show.