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Maureen O' Hara wishes to return to Dublin one last time

Maureen O'Hara requests freedom of Dublin

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Maureen O' Hara wishes to return to Dublin one last time

Screen legend Maureen O'Hara wants to return to Ireland for one final time - to receive the freedom of Dublin.

The 93-year-old Hollywood legend, who lives near her family in Boise, Idaho in the US, has asked to be granted the prestigious award so she can make what would be one of her last-ever public appearances in the Irish capital, the city of her birth.

The actress, who now receives round-the-clock care, has become increasingly picky about what public engagements she takes part in since moving from her home in Glengarriff, Co. Cork to the US nearly two years ago.

And due to her increased frailty, it had been thought unlikely that she would ever travel to Ireland again.

But it's now emerged that family and friends of The Quiet Man star - who has both Irish and US nationality - have written to Dublin city councilllors to seek their support in granting her the coveted award - which was in recent weeks presented to retired Irish rugby star Brian O'Driscoll and tireless homeless campaigner, Fr. Peter McVerry.

Past recipients also include Charles Stewart Parnell, Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, Bob Geldof and Bono.

But, according to The Herald, in the letter sent on behalf of the actress, a representative urged the Lord Mayor and city chiefs to make their decision "as a matter of urgency" due to Ms. O'Hara's advanced age.

The letter states: "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."

Ms. O'Hara, one of the last survivors of Hollwyood's golden era, has often spoken fondly of her Dublin childhood, the letter notes, including "being surrounded by her mother's music, her father's strength of character, her children's laughter and mischief and her family's encouragement".

The letter also makes reference to Ms. O'Hara's most famous movie, The Quiet Man, which "helped put Ireland on the map in 1952".

The enduring John Ford-directed classic, in which she starred alongside her "favourite leading man" John Wayne, has spawned a huge tourist boom in Cong, Co. Mayo - where it was filmed - ever since.

The letter adds: "Ms. O'Hara was also the leading lady of legendary actor John Wayne. She starred with him in five classic Hollywood films which helped solidify a lifelong friendship.

"Their on-screen dynamism is arguably unmatched. They also shared a fervent patriotic spirit."

The Herald also notes that the Lord Mayor will now consider whether to formally nominate the Hollywood icon, who would have the freedom of the city bestowed on her pending approval by city councillors.

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