Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Irish film legend Maureen O'Hara decides to stay in US

Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O’Hara
Maureen O’Hara

Hollywood legend Maureen O'Hara (92) has decided to stay in the United States.

The veteran actress will remain in a care centre in Idaho where her grandson, Conor Fitzsimons, now lives.

Ms O'Hara, pictured, dramatically quit Glengarriff in west Cork last autumn after having lived in the area for more than 40 years.

Her decision to quit Ireland came despite ambitious plans to create a Maureen O'Hara legacy film centre in the west Cork village.

The Dublin-born actress, described by John Wayne as the greatest screen icon of her generation, is now engaged in a legal battle with a US lawyer as part of a protracted dispute with her former personal assistant, Carolyn Murphy.

Ms O'Hara has filed papers in New York seeking the return of files on her assets and finances from lawyer Howard Gibbs. The 'Daily News' in New York reported that court documents in relation to the issue have already been filed in Manhattan.

Her family insisted she was happier since her move to the US and was considering writing a book to outline her reasons for quitting Ireland.

One family source said that while her Glengarriff home remains within the O'Hara estate, Maureen has no plans to return there.

"Maureen is being bombarded with offers and gets requests to attend events every day," said her nephew Charlie Fitzsimons.

"If it was up to her, she would be attending most things. . . But we have to be more selective about what she attends now because she is 92 and these things are exhausting.

"She is in good health and is living in what is called a senior family home where she has two or three girls looking after her and giving her 24/7 care. She is also receiving occupational and physical therapy -- in fact, the only thing slowing her down is her diabetes. She is incredible".

Ms O'Hara quit west Cork just weeks after calling a special press conference to outline the legal issues she was now engaged in. Her legal advisers from New York and her accountant from the Virgin Islands both attended the event. The actress said she was "damn upset" over the legal wrangle.

Ms O'Hara and aviation pioneer Charles Blair decided to relocate to Glengarriff in 1968. He was the love of her life but was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1978.

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