Screen legend Maureen O’Hara has angrily rejected all claims that that she is a victim of "elder abuse" after her personal assistant was quizzed by social workers over her demanding schedule.
The 92-year-old 'Quiet Man' beauty has been forced to make a public statement denouncing the "scandalous" accusations that Carolyn Murphy is working her too hard.
Murphy was given power of attorney over O’Hara’s affairs in 2006 and was recently questions by the Irish Health Authority over claims that she is making too many demands on O’Hara.
“This is coming from people with nothing better to do, there is nothing scandalous about us or our behaviour, or what we are trying to do,” O’Hara told Ireland’s Sunday Independent newspaper from her home in scenic Glengarriff, Co Cork.
The row has thrown a shadow over the London launch of the Maureen O’Hara Foundation at a reception in the Irish Embassy on Tuesday.
O’Hara also told the paper that she had no difficulty handing over power of attorney to her "friend" Carolyn Murphy.
She explained how the two women met in 1978 when Murphy and her wealthy American husband retired to Ireland and settled in Glengarriff where they met O’Hara.
Murphy, who confirmed that the actress will not attend the London event and never planned to, spoke to the paper of her anger at the accusations made against her.
“I was very upset, not only for myself, but I have always put Maureen and the family first,” said Murphy.
“The HSE (health authority) came out and I co-operated with them, I have nothing to fear, I am around Maureen for the last six to eight years, I wasn’t frightened. The HSE came to me for a couple of hours and the case is closed.
“She doesn’t mind events, obviously there are a lot of people who want her to go to different things and when she wants to go she goes and when she doesn’t want to go, nobody is going to force her.
“Maureen always likes to look her best and she makes a big effort to look good and that is often tiring.”
O’Hara again confirmed on Sunday that she is fully supportive of the Maureen O’Hara Foundation, which has the twin aims of creating an international film academy and an educational facility for Irish children.
“I want to get it going and make it a place where young people will get support,” she said. “It is to teach them to act and speak right and have the confidence in themselves to go for it.”
Murphy also outlined how the pair’s friendship blossomed over the years and outlined how she only became Ms O’Hara’s personal assistant in 2004 and was given power of attorney in 2006.
“It was offered to a family member who declined,” said Murphy. “Basically, she needed extra help and I felt very honoured and very happy to take this role seriously”.
Murphy has helped catalogue a vast amount of film and other memorabilia which the Hollywood legend has collected and will now donate to the new Legacy Centre in Glengarriff.
“Maureen said to me: ‘What am I going to do with it’ when we had everything collected and out of that came the idea for the Legacy Centre, which will be a great boost to Glengarriff and protect the image that she has portrayed over 70 years,” said Murphy.
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