OVER £4,000 has been raised for a cancer charity in memory of a Donaghadee band member and rising bowls star.

The members of the Rising Sons of Down flute band have been raising money in memory of former band member Daniel Donnan who passed away earlier this year.

With fundraising ending on July 11, a grand total of £4,506 was raised for the cancer support charity, Cancer Focus.

With the band’s 50th anniversary on the horizon, a parade through the town centre had been planned along with the sale of commemorative t-shirts.

However, with the sudden and tragic passing of Daniel, the band decided to make this a fundraising memorial for the young local man.

Twenty-one year old Daniel passed away just days after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Falling ill at the gym after work, Daniel was rushed to the Ulster Hospital on March 9 where the shock diagnosis was given. Just a few days later, on March 13, Daniel passed away.

As a long time friend of the family, Derek McCully thought the 50th anniversary parade would be better suited to help raise money for Cancer Focus, and in memory of the young Donaghadee man.

On May 27, members collected donations before their parade that evening. T-shirts marking the half-century milestone were also sold to bolster funds for the charity.

“It was the one family you would wish least for that to happen to,” said Derek. “Daniel wanted to be a painter like his dad and he was quite good at the bowls having won competitions at a young age.

“There were people from all over the country who came to pay their respects, a lot of the bowling community knew him.”

Praising the efforts of his fellow members and thanking the local community for their support, Daniel’s father Brian said despite the aggressive cancer, Daniel showed no symptoms of the illness.

“He worked in painting and decorating and every night after work, he went to the gym. He ate healthy, he didn’t drink and he looked after himself.

“He didn’t have any symptoms, he didn’t know anything about it. It was an aggressive form of cancer,” added Brian.

“He loved to spend time with the family. He was a hard worker and served his time doing the painting and decorating with me.

“He loved life and was a happy kid and very well mannered and respected.”

Brian explained that Daniel was ‘big into his bowls’ playing for Bangor Bowling Club and representing Ireland at under-18 level level

“A lot of people from the bowling community came to the funeral,” said Brian.

With the sudden passing with little symptoms of the illness, Brian has urged people to care for their health and be wary of cancer indicators.


“Eighteen to 25 is a very high risk group for that cancer,” he said. “I would like people to look after their health, because it can rip a family apart in such a short time.”


Daniel is survived by his father Brian, mother Sharon and brother Curtis.