| 7.7°C Dublin

Heartbreak Imelda May reveals 'torturous' ordeal as her 'amazing' mum suffers stroke

It's been really, really tough because we can’t visit her, we can’t see her and it's just been absolutely torturous, to be honest."


Imelda May

Imelda May

Imelda May

Imelda May has revealed the heartbreaking news that her beloved mum is in hospital after suffering a stroke.

In an emotional interview this morning, the Liberties star told how 93-year-old Madge is “not good at all”.

Imelda told Ryan Tubridy on RTE Radio One: “I might burst into tears here in a moment but mam's had a stroke and she’s in hospital.

“It's been really, really tough because we can’t visit her, we can’t see her and it's just been absolutely torturous, to be honest.

“So, we're trying to get her home as quick as we can, it's just, it's been tough. She's going to be 94 in February next month and she's just brilliant, she's been brilliant all her life.

“She lived by her own rules and she's such a strong woman and I'm very, very lucky to have had her and my dad in my life.

“I adore them,” Imelda added.


Imelda May

Imelda May

Imelda May

“They’re just so brilliant I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing if it wasn't for them and all their support and encouragement.

“My dad was a dance teacher. He took out the staircase at home and put in a spiral staircase and wanted to do murals on the wall and mam was always telling him to do more.

“And she started up the Liberties music drama group for local kids. They're amazing people, they’re my entourage.

"My mam and dad have always been accepting of everybody too,” she added. “We never heard a bad word in the house about anybody.

They accept all people, all races, religions and sexuality. Mam and dad never had a problem with anybody and so I was raised like that. And I'm very thankful to be raised like that, without any negativity towards others, that's really how we were raised at home.

“Often, for many people, they’re given these preconceived, unfair notions about others and that’s fear again but mam and dad were always just so open.”

Imelda also revealed how her mam sometimes struggles to recognise her.

“She didn’t (recognise me) a couple of times, you know, on the phone and stuff and it was heartbreaking. But she mostly does now, and it's lovely.

“When I got home for Christmas she said, ‘oh there ya are now, Imelda, where have you been? I've been looking for you everywhere. I hadn’t seen her in a year and she just kept saying, ‘that’s better, that's better’.

“I was delighted but we're trying to get her speech back now after this stroke."

Imelda would ring her mam on the phone and the nurses, “who are really kind, handed the phone to mam and I heard her say my name and I nearly fell apart.

“I was singing down the phone to her but she couldn't sing back which she normally does. But I kept saying, ‘would you like another one’, and she was able to say, ‘yes and I was singing down the phone to her.

“She couldn't tell me (what she wanted to hear) so I sang ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’. She loves Judy Garland so I was singing that down the phone to her. It was lovely but I hope to get home soon.”

She also applauded her family and the carers who have become “almost part of the family."

She also revealed that she had made the decision to come back at Christmas and see her family, after taking all the correct precautions, as it had been a year since she had seen her mam.

“I was really lucky 'cause I wasn't sure if I'd get to her again. It’s really weird at this moment and (I was thinking) if she goes downhill I don't know if I'll be able to get back to see her so I was determined to see her and I'm really glad we did. We hugged and kissed like mad so yeah, it was lovely.”

Imelda is also back recording and has collaborated with rockers Noel Gallagher and Ronnie Wood on new track, ‘Just One Kiss’.

The Dubliner confirmed that the new track will feature on her upcoming album ‘11 Past The Hour’ which will be released on April 23.

“Musically and creatively I'm just flying,” she revealed. “I’ve enough for another album now.”

Speaking about her fellow musicians she said, ‘I’m so lucky to be surrounded by such great people.

“Ronnie, I love dearly for many years and I was delighted that he said ‘let's do it’.

He said to me, ‘let me know what you need. I asked Noel and we even got to do it live during the time during lockdown when you could have six people together, so we got to play it live.”

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

Online Editors