I was six when my father died so my mother has been everything to me. Wherever I go I tell the world about my wonderful mother. I'm a singer today because of my mother's encouragement. She has been the biggest influence in my life' Daniel O'Donnell. Irish singing star Daniel O Donnell s mother, Julia, grew up on a remote island off the Northwest coast of Ireland. Growing up during a poverty-stricken era in the 1920s, her childhood was one of hard labour in tough conditions. In her early teens, she was sent off to Scotland to support her parents by picking potatoes in the fields. She was paid a pittance and forced to sleep in cowsheds. Then as a young adult, she gutted fish in Scottish ports, working outdoors in freezing winters and blistering summers. After she married, Julia s husband, Francie, was forced to spend most of each year working on farms in Scotland, leaving his heartbroken family behind. The hardship he endured took its toll on his health and, tragically he died, leaving Julia widowed and destitute with five children. She was still in her 40s. n an inspiring story of triumph over adversity, Julia tells how she battled through this dark period by knitting sweaters i
Now in her eighties, Julia O'Donnell continues to live in Kincasslagh, County Donegal, surrounded by her friends and family.