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13th Oct 2011

Five things you might not know about Dana

As the presidential race reaches the home stretch, accusations surrounding Dana Rosemary Scallon’s family threaten to bring her run to a halt, so here are five facts on the holy-hopeful.


As the presidential race reaches the home stretch, accusations surrounding Dana Rosemary Scallon’s family threaten to bring her run to a halt, so here are five facts on the holy-hopeful.

By Oisin Collins

Dana wasn’t actually born in Ireland

If Dana were to be elected to the Presidency of Ireland, she would follow in the footsteps of presidents past such as Eamon de Valera, Erskine Childers and Mary McAleese, who were all born outside of the Republic.

Dana was born in Islington, North London, back in 1951. Her family had to move to London from their native Derry, as there was little to no work available back home. When Dana, or Rosemary as she was called then, was only five, her family was forced to move once again due to the harmful effect the London smog was having on her and her siblings. After receiving advice from their doctor, her father decided it was best to move the family back home to Derry.

Dana had some famous neighbours as a kid, even if she, or they, didn’t know it yet

For a short while, Dana lived in the Creggan housing estate, an estate built in Derry specifically made to provide Catholics in the area with a home. This estate would prove to be the rearing grounds of some of Ireland’s best-known faces.

Michael ‘Mickey’ Devine was a volunteer of the Irish National Liberation Army and is best known for his participation of the 1981 Irish hunger strike. Mickey died after sustaining 60 days without food.

Charlie Nash was born in the same year as Dana and also lived in the Creggan estate. Charlie would become one of Ireland’s best-known boxers and he represented the country at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

Irish Olympic swimmer Liam Ball represented the country at both the 1968 Mexico City and 1972 Munich games. Looks like the Creggan estate had a knack for churning out the sports star. As for the musical ones…

Dana was pulled from being a celebrity bainisteoir on RTE’s Celebrity Bainisteoir

That’s right, Dana could have been in charge of St. Michael’s from Lissan in the current RTE series. But sadly for everyone involved she couldn’t. RTE announced back in September that if she ran for President, which she would, then it would be “impossible” for RTE to broadcast the series.

The interesting thing, however, was the fact that RTE had “asked her to leave” the show even before she announced that she was running in the race. In other words, they kicked her out before it was too late.

Dana is the second-best Irish celebrity at Irish dancing

Yes, that’s right. Celebrity Jigs ‘N’ Reels started out back in 2006, with seven Irish ‘celebrities’ including Emma O’Driscoll, Jen Kelly and Michael Carruth, just to name the “well known” ones.

Each week the contestants were given a contemporary Irish rock or pop song, to which the professional dancer had to choreograph a traditional Irish dance. It all sounds very, erm, Irish.

The show looked as if it might claw back some integrity with the likes of George Hook, Jean Butler and Colin Dunne as judges. Sadly, it didn’t. Celebrity Jigs ‘n’ Reels only had one spin on the floor as it lasted for a single season.

Dana hosted her own show on EWTN

We’ve all been there; flicking through the hundreds of TV channels available to us and we end up watching the God Channel for the guts of five minutes, without even knowing it.

Well if you’ve been in that situation you may have noticed Dana on EWTN. As states: In Dana and Friends, Dana hosts various musical guests who perform inspiring songs and discuss the importance of the Faith in their lives in this stirring music program hosted by renowned vocalist Dana.  Dana also sings and shares her own faith.

Dana didn’t just praise God by having her own show on EWTN. She also has a back catalogue of Christian music CDs including the popular Totus Tuus, written and preformed by Dana for the late Pope John Paul II, as well as her most recent smash hit, the 2007 offering, Good Morning Jesus!


LISTEN: You Must Be Jokin’ with Aideen McQueen – Faith healers, Coolock craic and Gigging as Gaeilge