Nathan brings joy to family with emotional surprise

Nathan and Máire Jackman at her home in Tullow.
Nathan and Máire Jackman at her home in Tullow.

The young daughter of a Nathan Carter fan who lost her battle with cancer this week has paid tribute to the singer for his surprise personal home visit and performance at her bedside last Sunday.

Country star Carter was set to do a show at the Mount Wolseley Hotel in Tullow, Co. Carlow, last Sunday evening when he learned that a local woman, Máire Jackman, aged 49, who was seriously ill, would be thrilled if he dropped in to say a quick hello to her.

Nathan was told that Máire was a big fan of his music and had been to several of his shows. She had hoped to see him perform in the local hotel, but, sadly, she was in the final stages of cancer.

The hugely popular Wagon Wheel singer immediately went to Máire’s home, which was close to the hotel. 

Máire was excited to see her favourite singer coming through the door, and according to her family she immediately perked up.

Nathan sat on her bed and hugged Máire, then with a guitar he serenaded the mum-of-three, singing her favourite song, Good Morning Beautiful.

It was a joyous moment for Máire and her family, who captured the visit on video and in photographs that will be treasured.

Two days later Nathan received the sad news that Máire had passed away peacefully at her home surrounded by her loving family, that included her husband, Ronan, daughters Orla (19) and Aine (13) and son, Oisín (15).

Orla, said yesterday that her mother was thrilled when Nathan surprised her, despite the gravity of her illness.

Yesterday she told Nathan: “She really did enjoy your visit. It was a huge surprise for her. She was absolutely thrilled when you walked into the room. 

“Her face just lit up as she wasn’t in the best of form previously that day having gone downhill a lot. It was like the old her, she just got a burst of energy and pulled herself together.

“From just lying in her bed with her eyes closed nodding away to us, to opening up her eyes, smiling from ear to ear, clapping and talking… it was so amazing to see! 

“You really did make her day!”

Orla told Nathan yesterday how Máire was highly amused when she learned that her photographs with Nathan had gone viral on Facebook.

“She went viral on Facebook with her photos with you and she was delighted because she used to mess with Oisín, asking how many ‘likes’ has he got on his profile picture,” Orla explained. “And the joke now was that she had officially got more than Oisín with your visit! 

“She just lay in the bed smiling away with her eyes closed while we told her about her big hit on Facebook with you!”

It was a light-hearted moment, but Máire’s condition rapidly deteriorated shortly afterwards. 

Máire’s popularity among people in the local community was marked by the enormous attendance at her funeral this week, said to be one of the biggest ever seen in the town. 

More than 1,000 people also attended Máire’s wake in the family home to pay their respects to the remarkable lady who had touched all of their lives.

Orla said that she and her family are left with lovely memories of her mother.  She said they have a video of Máire taken just a week before she died in which she jokes that she would be playing with Nathan at his Mount Wolseley show last Sunday.

“I also have the video of when you played beside her bed and the photographs also,” she said.

“She really did enjoy listening to your music!” Orla told Nathan.

She added that Máire would have been chuffed by the publicity surrounding Nathan’s visit to her bedside. 

“She would only be thrilled to hear about this,” Orla told the country superstar. 

“She really was a great lady who was loved by many! Thank you so much once again, you really did make a very sick lady’s day.”