Belfast Telegraph

Maureen O'Hara honoured at 90

The family of Hollywood screen icon Maureen O'Hara last night staged a special west Cork celebration to mark her 90th birthday.

Maureen, who has lived for more than 40 years in Glengarriff, Co Cork, celebrated her birthday yesterday as a stream of callers and messages of tribute arrived at her home.

She was surrounded by family and friends, including her daughter Bronwyn and nephew Andrew in Blair's Cove, Durrus, where she was greeted by St Michael's Bandon Pipe Band.

Friends said she was "absolutely thrilled" with the tributes and bags of birthday cards and goodwill messages that flooded to her door.

Last night's private family celebration followed a special dinner in Casey's Hotel last Saturday night in Maureen's honour, hosted by the Glengarriff Golf Club, of which she has been honorary president since 1986.

The veteran of 60 major films has now donated priceless memorabilia to the Glengarriff community, where it will underpin the proposed ?5m Maureen O'Hara Legacy Centre.

Casey's Hotel owner Donal Casey has been a friend of the star for years, with Maureen having lived in the hotel for three months with her late husband, Charles Blair, when they decided to relocate to the west Cork village in 1968.

The former US Air Force officer and aviation pioneer was the love of Maureen O'Hara's life, but he was tragically killed in a plane crash in 1978.

In her husband's memory, she has been a steadfast supporter for years of the Flying Boat Museum in Foynes, Co Limerick.

"Maureen has been the best friend that Glengarriff could ever have asked for," Mr Casey said. "She has supported every local development over 40 years and has used her influence and name to help promote local tourism," he explained.

Glengarriff Tourism & Development Association (GTDA) also paid special tribute to the star.

"Maureen O'Hara may be 90, but her brand is as strong as it ever was," GTDA official Andrew O'Shea said.

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