herald

Saturday 19 April 2014

O'Toole's ashes coming 'home'

PALS: Michael D with O'Toole

CONNEMARA is set to be the backdrop for the final scenes in the story of acting legend Peter O'Toole as his ashes will be scattered in the place he called home.

O'Toole, who died last week at the age of 81, made his home overlooking the Eyrephort peninsula in the 1970s and was a regular fixture in the town of Clifden and Connemara.

The actor's daughter Kate told friends: "We're bringing him home. It's what he would have wanted".

O'Toole's ashes will be scattered just a short walk from the hilltop home he built overlooking the coast.

Residents in Clifden said they were honoured by the gesture. "Peter was synonymous with Connemara and many people have memories of him during his years here," said John Stanley, of Stanley's drapery shop – now being run by the sixth generation of the family.

 

FAMOUS

"My father would have known him better than I did, but I remember as a small boy him coming into the shop. Even as young as I was I knew he was famous," he added.

"We're not too surprised here in the town that his ashes will come back to Connemara, but it is still an honour for us.

"He was a big name here and supported the Connemara Pony Breeders. We were all saddened by his passing," said John.

It was in Connemara that Peter O'Toole became friends with Michael D Higgins.

The President issued a statement last week saying: "All of us who knew Peter in the west will miss his warm humour and generous friendship."

In his autobiography Peter O'Toole wrote that he was born in Connemara but that his birth was registered in Leeds, Yorkshire in 1932.

His father was a metal worker and bookmaker in Galway, while his mother was a Scottish nurse.

cfeehan@herald.ie

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