Maureen O’Hara wants one final visit to Ireland
Hollywood legend Maureen O’Hara has said she wishes to return to her hometown Dublin one final time – and be granted the freedom of the city.
The Quiet Man star moved from Cork to Idaho two years ago to be closer to her family. Since then she has become more guarded about making appearance in public.
But she arranged for a letter to be sent to Dublin councillors on her behalf, requesting the prestigious award be granted to her.
Previous recipients of the freedom of Dublin include Irish icons such as rugby star Brian O’Driscoll, U2 frontman Bono and historic politician Charles Parnell.
Few would argue that O’Hara deserves her place alongside such national treasures.
The letter sent to Dublin councillors on behalf of O’Hara said: “I respectfully ask you Lord Mayor, and the Dublin City Council, to confer this great honour upon Ms O’Hara whom many people of Ireland believe to be a National Treasure.
“A unique opportunity exists in the fact that as Ms O’Hara continues to thrive at the age of 93, she could be present as this honour is unveiled.
“With deep respect, there is a sense of urgency, given that she will turn 94 on August 17 of this year. Ms. O’Hara would like Dublin, the city of her birth, to be one of her last public appearances.”
O’Hara can expect to be greeted with a hero’s welcome by the people of Ireland if the visit is to go ahead.
She has spoken in the past of her fond childhood memories growing up in Dublin, saying that “my heritage and grounding have given me peace. My childhood rarely knew pain, sadness or hardship. It was joyous, full of love and laughter, and the happiest time of my life.”
O’Hara’s most famous film was probably The Quiet Man, in which she starred opposite her lifelong friend John Wayne. The movie was filmed in Cong, Co Mayo and the town has enjoyed a busy tourism trade ever since. She has also spoke recently, claiming that the star of the movie wasn’t herself or her co-star Wayne but the beautiful Irish countryside where it was shot.