Thursday 20 September 2018

€100,000 exhibition celebrating the life and work of legendary actress Maureen O’Hara opens

Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara Photo: Silver Screen Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Maureen O'Hara
Maureen O'Hara in 1988
Maureen O'Hara pictured in 1950
Actress Maureen O'Hara (L) helping daughter Bronwyn Fitzsimons (C) dress for her graduation party. (Photo by J. R. Eyerman/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD LEGEND: Barry Egan was smitten by superstar Maureen O’Hara
Maureen O'Hara died at the age of 95
Maureen O Hara with her Hall of Fame award at the JFK Visitor Centre in July 2011
Maureen and John Wayne in the Quiet Man in 1952. Photo: Rex Features
The screen legend receiving an honorary Oscar from actors Clint Eastwood and Liam Neeson (right) last year
Maureen O'Hara in the 1940s. Photo: Getty
Maureen O’Hara at the height of her fame in the 1950s
Geraldine Gittens

Geraldine Gittens

A €100,000 exhibition has opened to celebrate the late legendary Irish actress Maureen O’Hara.

The costumes, Oscar, designer dresses, correspondences and personal items of the Hollywood great goes on display for the first time at the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum in Limerick.

Plans are in place to build a new wing to the museum to house the complete collection donated by Ms O’Hara’s family.

Some 29 years and one day after the Hollywood legend cut the ribbon on the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum, two specially designed rooms hosting her most prized possessions and memorabilia were officially opened on the same site. 

The exhibition  includes her costumes and accessories, glamorous red carpet outfits, correspondences with movie stars and world leaders, her Oscar and many personal items including her passport and makeup case.

It was officially opened by Minister of State for Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Patrick O’Donovan TD this morning.

The two rooms assigned to the exhibition include a display room for her memorabilia and a small cinema area with a six-minute rolling film on her life, music, film and fashion.

Founder and Manager of the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum Margaret O’Shaughnessy said: “This exhibition is designed to show a very, very small selection of the entire collection that was donated to the museum by Maureen O’Hara’s grandson, Conor Beau Fitzsimons.”

“We have designed a new extension for the museum to house the complete collection and are awaiting funding to do just that. Ideally we would love to open the new wing on August 17, 2020 on the centenary of the birth of our late patron Maureen,” said Ms O’Shaughnessy.

He added: “It has been a tough year for the museum as we have fought to overcome damage caused by serious flooding this past winter. An investment of €580,000 to repair the damage  means the museum is even better than ever, and today we welcome a new addition in the form of the Maureen O’Hara Exhibit.”

The Maureen O'Hara exhibition.
The Maureen O'Hara exhibition.

Today, July 9, was also the 79th anniversary of the first commercial passenger Pan Am flight from New York landing in Foynes.

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