Funeral of Irish Hollywood heroine Maureen O’Hara
The funeral of Irish movie legend Maureen O’Hara took place at St Charles Borromeo Catholic Church near Washington DC.
The service was led by Irish priest Fr Gerald Weymes. Fr Weymes said: “Maureen was also witty, humorous, beautiful, compassionate, outgoing, strong-willed, courageous with fiery spirit of the Vikings and the untameable spirit of the Normans with a little smidgin or pinch of Eros — all the qualities that one would expect in any Irish colleen.”
Her remains were then taken to Arlington, Virginia, where she was laid to rest alongside her late husband and World War Two hero, Lt Col Charles Blair who she always said was the love of her life.
It was said to be O’Hara’s final wish to be buried next to him.
A 45-piece Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band from Chicago played music from The Quiet Man as her body was carried into the church.
There were around 200 mourners in attendance. As they entered the church, they walked past portraits of O’Hara taken from some of her most iconic film roles
Speaking at the ceremony, O’Hara’s grandson Conor Fitzsimons told how proud she was to be Irish. He said: “One thing my grandmother taught me was, ‘when the times get tough, that’s when the Irish get going.’
“The one thing that I think my grandmother was proud of most was being Irish because that meant to her something that nobody could take from her. It was in her heart. It was in her soul. It was in her spirit. Ireland was her heart.”
He went on to explain how much O’Hara’s fans meant to her. He said: “She loved her fans and her fans loved her.”
O’Hara’s nephew David Edwards referred to her as ‘my aunt who made movies and was a movie star’.
He continued: “She was very opinionated but I would say that is true of all my aunts and uncles on my Irish side. She always had an opinion about anything you asked her and it was a very strong opinion.”
Another mourner was Melinda Munoz, who is the daughter of John Wayne. She said that O’Hara had remained friends with her father and often attended family occasions. She described O’Hara as ‘like a sister’ to her father and ‘like an aunt’ to her and her family.
O’Hara was buried next to her husband and her sister Margot.
Singer Catherine O’Connell sang The Isle of Innisfree, from The Quiet Man at O’Hara’s graveside.
The Shannon Rovers then played a number of rousing Irish marching songs including Garryowen.
O’Hara passed away last month at her home in Idaho, shortly after receiving an honorary Oscar for her services to show business.
The 95-year-old was one of Ireland’s favourite daughters and starred in several classic films from the golden age of Hollywood.
Perhaps the most enduring and best loved film of O’Hara’s career was The Quiet Man, one of many she starred in alongside John Wayne.
The film was described by director John Ford as ‘the sexiest film ever made’. It has stood the test of time and is still loved by movie fans all over the world. Many even visit Ireland to see the area that the film was shot.
Towards the end of her life, O’Hara was behind a campaign to restore the iconic cottage used that was used in the movie to its former glory.
O’Hara also starred in classics such as Miracle on 34th Street, How Green Was My Valley and The Parent Trap.
Take a look at this video of the time Maureen O’Hara appeared on This is Your Life which first aired in 1957.