Foynes to host Maureen O’Hara centenary celebration

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HOLLYWOOD movie icon Maureen O’Hara will be honoured on the centenary of her birth at a special once-off event at the Foynes Flying Boat Museum next month.

‘The Quiet Man’ star and honorary Oscar winner had a long association with the County Limerick visitor attraction and the town of Foynes through her late husband Captain Charles Blair – a dashing Flying Boat Pilot and O’Hara’s husband from 1968 to 1978.

Blair, an immensely popular figure, was a pioneer of transatlantic aviation, a former brigadier general of the United States Air Force, a former chief pilot at Pan Am, and founder and head of the United States Virgin Islands airline Antilles Air Boats.

Maureen O’Hara officially opened the museum in July 1989, became its patron and visited almost every year.

She left Ireland in 2012 to live with her grandson Conor Beau Fitzsimons in Boise, Idaho. On 24 October 2015, aged 95, she died in her sleep and her remains were buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia next to her late husband, Charles Blair.

In 2017, her grandson donated a vast collection of Maureen’s memorabilia to Foynes Flying Boat Museum with the intention of establishing a permanent exhibition in her honour.  The collection holds more than 300 garments, shoes, hats, bags, costume jewellery, her honorary Oscar, the horse trap from The Quiet Man film, personal items, awards, movie contracts,  furniture, as well as letters and diaries.

The Holman-Lee Model Agency will present a selection of items from the actor’s personal collection in a special live Fashion Show from the museum on August 17.

In line with COVID-19 requirements, only 50 tickets are being made available for the exclusive fashion show. It will include a champagne reception, lunch by Executive Chef Tom Flavin, private viewing of the Maureen O’Hara exhibition and a special memento to take home.

Details at www.flyingboatmuseum.com