I was listening to BBC Radio Five Live in the early hours of this morning and was really saddened to hear of the death of Waterford-born singer Val Doonican.
Val was a huge part of my growing up and we watched him on his BBC television show for years and years every Saturday night from when it started in 1965. Those were the days of the black and white telly, the roaring fire and the whole family gathered ~ Mother and Dad on their easy chairs and us kids on the sofa ~ me the youngest invariably in the lumpy bit in the middle but feeling all secure and nestled.
In the early 1970s, when we were living in Drogheda, it was like a dream come true when news hit town that Val Doonican was coming to perform in concert. It was the first concert of a ‘big star’ that I ever went to and Mother and I revelled in every moment.
I got Val Doonican’s autograph that night and was stunned with the fact that he took the time to talk with eleven-year-old me as if I was the only person in the world.
So many songs, so many memories associated with a man who hailed from my native Co. Waterford and made such a success of life from tough beginnings.