Lisselton beauty who rubbed shoulders with Hollywood royalty is widely mourned

She was the dazzling beauty who electrified Kerry at a time of deep gloom in the aftermath of the Second World War and who went on to rub shoulders with Hollywood royalty before a career in one of the most glamorous professions of the era.

Lisselton is in mouring for its beloved Violet Magnier (neé Nolan) this week after she passed away peacefully in Dublin's Beacon Hospital on Sunday, aged in her late 80s. Some of the community's older citizens remember with deep affection the excitement Violet brought them and, indeed, the whole county and country in 1947 when she took part in an early incarnation of a famous contest that's still running.

That was the year the 18-year-old Violet became Ireland's Dawn Beauty Queen, the precursor to the current Miss Ireland title - her looks and winning personality charming the country at a drab time post-Emergency.

The prize took her far from the gloom - right the way to Hollywood where she took part in screen tests, and met the likes of Gregory Peck, Bing Crosby, Maureen O'Hara (a former Dawn Beauty Queen) and even Lassie! Violet dined with O'Hara at the actress's home and kept in contact with the Irish-American Bing Crosby long after coming home.

At home she embarked on a steller career as a 'ground' hostess at Rineanna - now Shannon Airport. Her task: escorting VIPs and dignitaries onto their awaiting aeroplanes.

Violet never forgot her roots, coming back to Ballybunion with daughter Millie for the month of June each year. Ms Nolan was predeceased by her husband Billy Magnier and is survived by daughter Millie, brother PJ and wife Mila (Ballybunion), her nieces and nephews and their families.

Her Funeral Mass takes place in St Patrick's Church, Skerries, at 11am on Thursday.