By BRIAN MOORE
PLANS for a life-size bronze statue in honour of silver screen legend and famous fiery red head, Maureen O’Hara, are underway in Glengarriff.
‘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,’ Donal Deasy of Casey’s Hotel said.
The project is now in the planning stage, and the volunteers have persuaded Jeanne Rynhart, who designed the famous ‘Molly Malone’ statue in Dublin, to come out of retirement to take on the task of immortalising Maureen in Glengarriff.
The statute will be in bronze, life-size and depict Maureen in one of the scenes from her famous movie, The Quiet Man. ‘The exact design has not been chosen yet, but we want this to be a fitting tribute to Maureen and her family in a place they loved so well,’ explained Donal.
A resident of Glengarriff from 1968 until she moved back to the US with her grandson Conor in 2014, Maureen 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 now running for over 50 years in Glengarriff.
‘My mother and grandmother loved Glengarriff and consider this place their home,’ Maureen’s grandson Conor Fitzsimons told The Southern Star. Following Maureen’s death in Boise, Idaho, at the age of 95 in 2015, her daughter Bronwyn (71) passed away at her home in Glengarriff in May of this year.
‘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.
As well as a statue in Glengarriff, an auction of Maureen O’Hara’s movie memorabilia, as well as some of her dresses, ball gowns and a collection of never-before-seen love letters to Maureen from film director John Ford will go under the hammer in Bonhams in New York at the end of the month, on Conor’s instructions.