TOM Hanks joined the rush of celebrities to have passed through Shannon Airport over the summer months - but paused long enough to take in some hurling action.
In June the airport had Irish-American royalty in Jean Kennedy Smith, last month it was Bruce Springsteen, and since then it has hosted Justin Timberlake and his movie star wife Jessica Biel.
But last weekend it was the turn of Oscar Award winner Tom Hanks and his family to arrive at Shannon as they transited the airport for a fuel-stop en route from Greece to the US.
The star of blockbusters such as ‘Forrest Gump’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’ and ‘The Green Mile’ arrived in Shannon on Sunday.
He was there just in time to catch some of the All-Ireland semi-final curtain raiser tie between Limerick and Galway minors.
And the mega star and his family appeared as captivated as everyone else by the action on the televisions around the airport.
“They were only here for a brief stop but they were enjoying watching the minor match on TV so much that they delayed their departure to take in the end of the game,” said Duty Manager Carmel Donnellan.
“Tom and his sons were in the bar having a drink and he was explaining hurling to them and said ‘this is the game I have been telling you about’.
“His sons seemed to be enjoying the game also, and then his daughter came over, before they were joined by his wife.”
Carmel said that the movie star could not have been nicer to people looking for a photo or autograph with him.
“He is such a nice man and happily posed for photos with staff and passengers. He could have gone to the VIP room but he just stayed there in the Sheridan bar with his family, watching the match the same as everyone else.
“He must have a grá for Galway as well as he wanted them to win the minor. There was plenty of Limerick staff around but we weren’t going to challenge him on that,” she joked.
“Mr Hanks has been through here before. In fact, the last time he flew into Shannon he was with Bruce Springsteen. You can imagine the heads that they turned.
“He really is as modest and nice as he comes across on screen.”