herald

Monday 5 December 2016

Shamrock Rovers lead a minute's applause to legendary actress Maureen O'Hara

maureen o'hara
maureen o'hara
maureen o'hara soccer tribute

HUNDREDS of people attended a special memorial tribute to legendary actress Maureen O'Hara (95) in her beloved west Cork.

The service was held in the Sacred Heart Church, Glengarriff, near where she had lived for 40 years, and was attended by neighbours, friends and golfing associates of the Hollywood icon.

It came a day after football fans at Tallaght Stadium held a minute's applause for the Quiet Man star before Shamrock Rovers' 5-3 victory over Drogheda United.

Her father was a director of the club in the 1960s.

Dozens of friends are expected to fly to the US for the funeral.

Ms O'Hara, who died nine days ago, insisted she wanted to be buried beside her husband, Brigadier General Charles Blair, in Arlington Cemetery in Washington.

The former US Air Force officer was the love of her life, and she was left heartbroken when he was killed in a freak flying accident in the Caribbean in 1978.

Brig Gen Blair was a former test pilot for Grumman and, after World War Two, helped test and commission the first transatlantic airliners.

The couple decided in 1968 to retire to west Cork.

Ms O'Hara devoted the next four decades to honouring the memory of the much-decorated airman as well as promoting Irish aviation interests.

In her husband's memory, she was a stalwart supporter of the Irish Flying Boat Museum in Foynes, Co Limerick.

Mus-eum director Margaret O'Shaughnessy said: "Charlie Blair, Maureen always told the story, flew the last scheduled seaplane out of Foynes in October 1945 and two days later, October 24, 1945, he flew the first Douglas DC-4 into Rinneanna, now Shannon Airport."

Ms O'Hara died on the same date 70 years later.

An exhibition of photos and memorabilia is being planned for the Foynes museum in the new year.

"It will be our special tribute to Maureen," said Ms O'Shaughnessy.

Ms O'Hara moved to Idaho in from west Cork in 2012 to be close to her family.

Health considerations meant she never returned to Ireland despite repeatedly describing Glengarriff as her "dream home".

She appeared in 83 films including some of the most iconic Hollywood productions of all time including The Hunchbank of Notre Dame, Rio Grande, Miracle on 34th Street and How Green Was My Valley.

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