over the moon | 

Cliona Hagan says she spends 24/7 with new husband and ‘wouldn’t have it any other way’

“We even get Facebook messages when we put videos up asking if we ever stop smiling.”

Cliona Hagan with husband of nine months, Simon Sheerin

Cliona Hagan Simon Sheerin on their wedding day

Dolly Parton

Roisin GormanSunday World

Country star Cliona Hagan says the honeymoon is still going on with husband Simon Sheerin nine months after they tied the knot.

The Co. Tyrone singer lives, works and tours with musician Simon and they can’t get enough of each other.

The couple are just back from a tour in Germany and about to hit the road again with the Sheerin family band on The Dolly Songbook Tour.

And not even working through Valentine’s Day could put a dent in their romance.

“We were working on Valentines, but he bought me chocolate teddy bear hearts, and I let him eat some of them which was very good of me,” says the singer.

“He’s my best friend and we spend 24/ 7 with each other, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It works for us. We’re both so lackadaisical and so similar in personality. Simon is placid and I’m airy fairy.

“We even get Facebook messages when we put videos up asking if we ever stop smiling. We’re so lucky we get on so well.”

Cliona Hagan Simon Sheerin on their wedding day

The pair married in Westmeath last May and allowed a film crew to follow their wedding preparations and big day. They were so comfortable on camera they’re hoping to announce another TV venture later this year.

Before then Cliona and the in-laws, with Simon on drums, are bringing back her Dolly Songbook tour which was so big last year they’ve doubled the number of dates. In a whirlwind year they plan to fit in a quick holiday before summer festival season.

The pair are such devoted Parton fans they included a visit to Nashville, Dollywood, and the Smoky Mountains to learn about her life on their honeymoon.

“Knowing her background and seeing her home town we could see how she became who she is. This woman started with nothing and she loved music.

Country star Cliona Hagan and Simon Sheerin celebrate beautiful wedding in Athlone

“Visiting her homeland was inspirational and we’re trying to channel that.

“I’m not trying to impersonate her. We’re celebrating her as an artist who never pigeonholed herself.”

Cliona reveals it’s the most personal show she’s ever staged. The tour grew out of an album of Dolly songs including 9 to 5, Coat of Many Colours and a few that may be unfamiliar to fans, some of which were written for other artists. The singer also shares the stories behind the hits from Parton’s prolific writing career.

“Some of the songs I had never heard before,” says the 33-year-old.

“It’s just fabulous playing with the Sheerin family because they are crazy talented, and these songs are not easy to perform.

Dolly Parton

“And I’ve never had something like this I could put my stamp on, with lights and sound and how to dress on stage and the visuals of the show which I had never been able to do before.”

The Cowboy Yodel star, who grew up listening to Parton, has also been inspired by Dolly to create more of her own music. She plans to release a series of singles this year including self-penned songs from the heart, with an unexpected change of direction.

Cliona admits she was surprised when a musical creation with Simon turned into a reggae song but knows her musical mentor Dolly would never tie herself down to one genre.

“She sang rock, bluegrass, so many different styles. She wrote I Will Always Love You and sang it as a country song first and then as a love song.

“No one has heard the reggae song I wrote with Simon yet. What I write depends on the day and the emotion and that day we were just chilling and chatting, and I was working at the sink and started singing a song with a real Bob Marley vibe and we recorded it on our phones.

“I don’t know where it came from. Simon and I love it and we can’t wait for our producer Dessie Sheerin to get it into the studio, but we don’t know if it will work in this country, will it be for somewhere else, or for someone else.

“Dolly doesn’t have any boundaries and there is no right way to do this,” says Cliona.

  • Cliona Hagan – The Dolly Songbook ia currently touring Ireland. Check out clionahagan.com

Today's Headlines

More Irish Showbiz

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

WatchMore Videos