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Dazzling Dana





Tullylish Youth Group played host to international star DANA on Sunday 25th March.

John Monaghan and Brendan Monaghan opened the concert with some beautiful instrumental music before the 43 members of Tullylish Youth Group made their grand entrance. Looking splendid in their red and black, these young people, aged between 5 and 16, opened their section with Liam Lawton’s ‘The Cloud’s Veil’, followed by one of their favourite ‘action hymns’ - Our God is a Great Big God.





After singing ‘A Little Peace’, the group divided into two sections and TYG Leader John Monaghan then introduced the star of the concert, Dana who made her way through the church and onto the altar.



Dana making her way through the church to the altar


 Dana began by praising the children and thanking them for allowing her to sing with them! Her opening number was the title track of the CD ‘Good Morning Jesus’ and it was obvious from the smiles on their faces just how much these young people love her.




"Good Morning Jesus"


This track was followed by three others from the CD and it was marvellous to witness how much at ease Dana was with each and every member, as they were with her.












"Guardian Angel Prayer "



As the 43 young starlets took their leave and processed back to the gallery, the audience applauded them with great gusto.

Dana opened her solo spot with a Johnny Cash number ‘A Thing called Love’. Her brother Gerry, who was accompanying her on keyboard sang a couple of James Taylor songs (with Dana TRYING to join in on the second)!



Gerry Brown, Dana's brother
























Dana attempting to join in with brother Gerry





Then Dana had the entire audience rolling with laughter as she recalled her first ever public appearance on stage in Derry at the age of 6. She proceeded then to sing the song ‘Too ra loo ra looral’ exactly as she has done in that talent competition and it was hilarious.




Dana demonstrating how small she was in front of the microphone









 This was a side of Dana none of us had seen, or indeed expected to see, but grown men were actually crying with laughter at her antics. Coming down the aisle into the audience, armed with microphone, Dana then continued to sing the song ‘in tune’ and several unsuspecting onlookers found themselves joining in. Mind you, some of them would have been more suited to her first version of

this beautiful lullaby!











“When Irish Eyes are Smiling” brought Dana back to the altar and after a couple more numbers, the TYG group were invited back to join her. This time they sang the younger members’ favourite track from the CD, “My Little Toes”. After some persusasion, the audience joined in









As her final number, Dana and Tullylish Youth Group sang the hymn she is most famous for - ‘Lady of Knock’ which was written by herself and husband Damien.



She then thanked the T.Y.G. for all their hard work, tonight and in the recording studio last year. Dana praised the six Youth Group leaders for their dedication to the young people and for the help they had given her with the CD.

After a standing ovation for Dana, Lynn Laverty spoke on behalf of Tullylish Youth Group saying:

“I think I speak for everyone when I say what a fantastic concert that was! TYG are so proud to have had the opportunity to work with Dana over the last year and a half. All the children have had such an incredible experience both singing here with Dana tonight and working in a recording studio to make a single and an album with her.


Dana really is a very special person – very patient, caring and gentle, especially with the children – there were no raised voices, no sighs of despair and no lost tempers - just smiles, words of encouragement and praise for a job well done. Just like a normal Monday night practice with us then!!! Through TYG’s involvement in singing at the Diocesan Special Needs masses we were fortunate enough to get to know Fr Colm Wright. It was he who suggested to his friend Dana that TYG might be just what she was looking for to help with recording the single “We are the children of the world” in 2005. This successful venture then led to TYG again joining Dana to record “Good Morning Jesus”.  Lynn went on to thank Fr Powell, President of TYG, who supports us in all that we do, praising and encouraging both children and leaders. Dana then presented bouquets of flowers to Geraldine McCusker who, as always, has been TYG’s biggest promoter – “well dare anyone go to the Point and NOT buy a ticket!” and parish secretary. Ciara McAteer who helped in too many ways to mention.

Brendan Monaghan who has been a great friend to TYG was presented with a gift voucher and Gerry Brown, Dana’s brother was presented with a piece of Ballydougan Pottery

Lynn concluded by saying “And now to the star of the show, Dana, as we said at the beginning, is a very special person. 


 Who else could put up with all of us, and still smile and mean it.  You have provided members and leaders of TYG with some unforgettable experiences and we will always be grateful to you for that.  How many people can say that they spent Sunday in the company of an international singing star like Dana!!! You can imagine the conversations in school tomorrow.

As a small token of our appreciation, we would like to make two small presentations to you.  Firstly, we have a piece of Ballydougan pottery, which has been designed and crafted by Sean O’Dowd, especially for you.  And secondly a bouquet of golden roses for our very own Golden Rose, Queen of Ireland.








Thank you so much for providing us with such fabulous experiences and memories.  Ladies and gentlemen, Dana.”

The unforgettable experience ended with Dana saying “And now I would like to sing the song that is the reason why I am here”. All Kinds of Everything then resounded through the church with each and every member of TYG joining in the song that made Ireland famous throughout the world in 1970 and has now put Tullylish Youth Group on the map in 2007.







Dana then received her second standing ovation which seemed to go on as long as the concert.

Comments after the show included ‘I have been to shows in the Waterfront, the Odyssey, and elsewhere, and none of them have measured up to this’. Audience members were actually crying with emotion and happiness saying to TYG leaders ‘Thank you so much for allowing us to experience this’.


For a full hour after the show, Dana stood signing autographs, having her photograph taken, talking with everyone and, throughout it all, she never stopped smiling. She was radiant throughout, ever patient as people came coming to chat and ask questions, even though she was exhausted from a long day of rehearsals, never mind standing in 4 inch heels!! Dana has the gift of making you feel good about yourself, although as one parent sang ‘All Kinds of Everything’ in the car going home, her daughter, a 6 year old TYG member asked her to stop saying ‘Only a pop star like Dana is allowed to sing that!” Not many of today’s pop stars could measure up to this Queen of Ireland. 


Thank you Dana.



To check out more photos from the concert click on the link below.


If you would like to purchase any of the photographs just contact Eddie or Paul on 02840 623131






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