Dolly goes to Dingle, declares “Welcome to Dinglewood!”
Dolly Parton must have been mistaken if she thought she was going to visit Dingle in Co Kerry going unnoticed.
In the early 90s, the famous country singer made a stop into Páidí Ó Sé’s Pub in Dingle, Co Kerry, seemingly for a quiet night out. This was long before social media would have been abuzz with the impromptu visit, but thankfully cameras were on hand the night that Parton went to Páidí’s pub.
Sporting her iconic blonde curls, Dolly Parton seems more than pleased to chat with the locals in the traditional Irish pub. She nods along with a smile when pub proprietor Páidí Ó Sé introduces Parton in his native Gaelic.
On stage, Páidí said, “The last big night we had here was in 1985 when I captained the Kerry team,” which was met with a round of applause.
Ó Sé famously captained the Kerry Senior Football team who beat Dublin in the 1985 GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship.
“Now we won the All-Ireland, and this is the jersey,” says Ó Sé presenting Parton with a rolled-up green and gold top. “And it hasn’t been washed since!”
Parton smiles for pictures while holding up the probably priceless Kerry jersey.
Then, she breaks into a rendition of Coat of Many Colors for the live audience.
She concludes with a bow and says “Well thank you very much, and welcome to Dinglewood!”, a riff on her Tennessee theme park Dollywood.
Watch Dolly in Dingle here!
Dolly's special appreciation for Ireland and its people endures.
In 2020, Dolly told "The Late Late Show" host Ryan Tubridy: "Irish have always loved me and I have always loved them. We speak the same language.
"They appreciate and know what it is like to live hard and to be brought up poor and I think that they know when I am singing it, I mean it.
"And I believe that they know that I feel that emotion that I have…I call it my Smokey Mountain DNA, but is from those old songs brought over from Ireland and England.”
More recently, the much-adored country singer gave her stamp of approval when the town of Listowel, also in Co Kerry, organized its "DollyDay" event which set the world record for the largest gathering of people wearing a full head-to-toe Dolly Parton costume.
*Originally published in 2018. Updated in January 2024.