Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

Omagh woman snaps up jewels worn by movie legend on her Belfast visit

An Ulster woman has the glitter and sparkle of a superstar after successfully bidding for a piece of jewellery worn by Oscar winner Meryl Streep.

The pearl, gold and diamond necklace - worth five figures - is now owned by Bridie Kiernan-O'Donnell from Omagh after she offered the top bid during a charity auction in Belfast.

The Hollywood icon flew over to Belfast last Saturday to support OMAC's efforts to raise the final £1.5m needed for a new £16.5m arts centre in the city's Cathedral Quarter.

That night the Devil Wears Prada actress wore the commissioned jewellery for a special dinner event.

Mrs Kiernan-O'Donnell said she was " delighted" to have won the auction as she loves pearls and is a fan of the arts.

"For me the arts are special and I believe it is something that brings everyone together," she said.

"It was a lovely evening and it was just a great cause.

"It is a beautiful necklace, and I love pearls," she said. "Meryl Streep was so gracious, and relaxed and made a very touching speech during the night.

"She said she was over in London filming with Pierce Brosnan so it was easy for her to fly across to Belfast.

"And after I won the auction she said she was thrilled that a woman had bought it. "

Mrs Kiernan-O'Donnell also revealed that during a chat with the actress she discovered Meryl actually knew a member of her family.

"My father had a first cousin, Barney Hughes who died last year, but he was an actor in the States, and she actually knew him!

"Barney had won a Tony Award on Broadway for his performance in Hugh Leonard's play Da, then went on make the movie with Martin Sheen.

"He had also done films with Michael J Fox and other actors, so she couldn't believe I was related to him!"

Mrs Kiernan-O'Donnell added that she will show off the special necklace at some point in the future.

" I do plan to wear the necklace, but only on special occasions!"

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