Stars line up to remember Tyrone mum

Marie O'Donnell with her husband Jimmy
Marie O'Donnell with her husband Jimmy

A host of country music stars have joined forces to help a local family raise money for a cancer charity which helped them during their mum’s battle with the disease.

Marie O’Donnell, from Gortreagh outside Cookstown, passed away last Autumn.

Her family - husband Jimmy, son Brendan and daughter Aimee - are hosting a special night in Marie’s memory and, to date, a phenomenal group of musicians have volunteered their time free of charge to ensure the much loved lady will never be forgotten.

Queen of country, Philomena Begley, is among the acts lined up for Thursday, May 5 at the Glenavon Hotel, along with former X-Factor star Mary Byrne, Johnny Brady, Louise Morrissey, Aidan Quinn and rising star Cliona Hagan, to name only a few.

Other special guests will be revealed on the night, which also features the likes of Richie Remo, Gary Gamble and Des Willoughby among so many others.

The musical line-up has been organised by Brian Cunningham, who runs Country Show NI and struck up a close friendship with Marie and Aimee during Aimee’s appearance in the Face of Tyrone.

Jimmy and his children are hopeful the night will be well supported: “We as a family witnessed first hand the fantastic work that Charis Cancer Care do not just for the person suffering with the disease but also for the family. Sadly we lost Marie last September and Charis were there to offer us support. This is just our way of saying a small thank you to Imelda and her team at Charis for their support and kindness. Cancer affects so many homes and little do you think it will come to your door but when it does it is good to have an organisation like Charis Cancer Care.”

Tickets for the fundraising night are available from the Glenavon Hotel as well as Moe’s Bar and Vogue.

Priced at £20, tickets can also be obtained from any family member, and it is possible to pay at the door on the evening.

All proceeds will go to Charis Cancer Care, which supports men and women at all stages of their journey, as well as their families. More details at