MAYOR of Limerick Cllr Liam Galvin has paid tribute to Hollywood icon Maureen O’Hara, who passed away on Saturday.
Cllr Galvin said Ireland had lost one of its greatest actors and ambassadors, adding that her passing would be keenly felt in West Limerick where the actress was patron of Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum.
“While Maureen will be best remembered for her starring roles in films such as ‘The Quiet Man’ and ‘Miracle on 34th Street’, she also will be always associated with Foynes,” he said.
“I was honoured to meet her in 2011 when she officially opened an exhibition at the Flying Boat and Maritime Museum. Her late husband, Captain Charles Blair was the senior captain flying into Foynes between 1939 and 1945 and I know that she took great pride in the fact that he also flew the last scheduled flying boat from Foynes to New York in 1945.
“Maureen has shown tremendous support to Margaret O’Shaughnessy in her efforts to promote and preserve Foynes’ central role in the development of transatlantic travel. That is why she will be fondly remembered and sorely missed by the people of West Limerick.
“On behalf of Limerick City and County Council and the people of Limerick, I want to extend my condolences to Maureen’s extended family and friends. Her iconic status means her light and memory will never fade,” he added.
The Dublin-born actress died in her sleep at her home in Boise, Idaho, her manager, Johnny Nicoletti, said. She was 95 and is survived by a daughter in Ireland. The screen icon appeared in such classic films as The Quiet Man and How Green Was My Valley.
On a visit to Foynes in 2009, she said she was “a survivor”.
“There is no pain. I have had cancer three times so I am a survivor. I do think people should see to it that they get treatment – and don’t be afraid,” she said.
“As long as God doesn’t yet want you, you keep going. I tell people not to be afraid. I should be terrified but I am confident that Charlie Blair and John Wayne have been to God and said: ‘Keep her out of here for another while’,” she added.
A patron of Foynes Flying Boat Museum since it opened, she said that she loved coming back to Foynes, which held many memories for her.
“I love driving along the side of the river. It’s so beautiful,” she said.