a short site about The Divine Comedy

Divine Comedy Star Hannon Is Proud New Dad

Ulster pop star Neil Hannon is settling well into his role as a new parent, his father said today.

Neil, who fronted the Divine Comedy, became a proud dad last month when wife Órla gave birth to a baby girl.

The eight and a half pound baby, named Willow, was born by Caesarean section at London Hospital on the same date as Órla’s birthday.

According to Neil’s father, the Rt Rev Brian Hannon, the pair are loving every moment of parenthood.

And he revealed that they were hoping to come to Northern Ireland after Easter to introduce Willow to family and friends.

The retired Bishop of Clogher said: “Both mum and baby are doing great and Neil and Órla are enjoying parenthood very much.

“We were over visiting family in Devon and were able to get up to London to see them, which was lovely.”

He admitted the name Willow was “unusual” but said it had grown on him.

“Both Neil and Órla are very individual, so the name suits them,” he said.

“I had never heard it before but since the name was chosen I’ve come across it a few times.”

The retired bishop said the new-born was his fourth grand-daughter to date.

“So far there have been no grandsons. It’s a generational thing, I think,” he said.

And he revealed that Neil, Órla and Willow would be visiting the family in Fermanagh later this year.

“We’re hoping to see them over here after Easter,” he said.

The Divine Comedy, which enjoyed a string of hits, including National Express and Something for the Weekend, announced their split recently.

The band played their final gig in Belfast at the end of last year.

Neil Hannon married long-term partner Órla in September 1999 at University Church, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin.

Rev Hannon helped conduct the wedding ceremony.

Among the telegrams read out at the wedding was one from pop idol Robbie Williams.

Maureen Coleman
The Belfast Telegraph Digital 04/01/2002