By Brian Moore
THE long-awaited statue to screen legend and Glengarriff resident, Maureen O’Hara, is set to be unveiled later this summer.
Final preparations are underway and the life-size bronze statue of the actress will be presented to the people of Glengarriff at a ceremony planned for the August bank holiday weekend.
Andrew O’Shea of the Glengarriff Tourism Association said: ‘We have the site prepared and the count-down is on for the statue of Maureen to be delivered and put in place.
‘Maureen O’Hara and her family have a special place in the hearts of the people of Glengarriff and we, with the help of her grandson Conor, want to honour her with a statue here in the town park.’
Government grant-aid of €48,000 as part of the Town and Village Renewal Scheme for the statue has been made available and Maureen’s grandson Conor FitzSimons and his family are also providing funds for the project.
‘My mother and grandmother loved Glengarriff and considered this place their home,’ Conor told The Southern Star following Maureen’s death in Boise, Idaho, at the age of 95 in 2015.
Maureen’s daughter, Conor’s mother, Bronwyn (71) also passed away at her home in Glengarriff in May 2016.
‘The statue will be, I know, a lovely memento of my grandmother’s life and will hold a special place for her family in Glengarriff,’ said Conor.
Maureen was resident of Glengarriff from 1968 until she moved back to the US with her grandson in 2014. She was considered ‘a local’ by all who lived and worked in the town. Her film career, which spanned 62 years, saw her partnered with John Wayne in some of Hollywood’s most memorable movies and she also sponsored the longest-running golf tournament in Ireland, The Maureen O’Hara Classic which is running for over 50 years in Glengarriff.
The Glengarriff Golf Club, where Maureen was honorary president, is also preparing for another Maureen O’Hara Memorial Classic and Festival of Golf which takes place from Friday, May 17th.
The well-known poster of the star at the golf club, which welcomed visitors to Glengarriff for many years, has been removed and is currently being refurbished but will reinstalled shortly.