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Weekly Comment:
Watch These Moving Birthday Tributes for Maureen O’Hara

By Adam Farley, Deputy Editor
August 21, 2015

On Monday, Irish screen legend Maureen O’Hara turned 95, and tributes to her were sent in from around the world. More than 60 fans from places as far ranging as Sweden, Australia, and Idaho uploaded 30-second videos to YouTube to create a moving celebration of her life and work.

Organized by Maureen O’Hara Magazine, the project included birthday wishes from three generations and half a dozen countries. Maureen O’Hara magazine founder and editor June Parker Beck said it “brought tears to my eyes” to see how many people contributed. The videos were then shared with O’Hara at her quiet “family and friends get-together” on August 17, organized by her grandson Conor and his wife Elga FitzSimmons.

Maureen O'Hara, center, celebrated her 95th Birthday August 17 with her family, close friends, and more than 60 birthday messages uploaded to YouTube. (Photo courtesy June Parker Beck / Maureen O'Hara Magazine)

Maureen O’Hara, center, celebrated her 95th Birthday August 17 with her family, close friends, and more than 60 birthday messages uploaded to YouTube. (Photo courtesy June Parker Beck / Maureen O’Hara Magazine)

Watch her introduce the project:

“We were quite thrilled to be a part of it,” Beck told Irish America. “It was an incredible experience seeing this cross section of fans – some as young as 15 and spanning three generations, tell Maureen how she has inspired them over the years,” she said.

Among the most notable tributes paid were Irish singer Cathy McGuire, who sand a few bars of “Happy Birthday,” and Ralna English of the Lawrence Show, who played the piano.

We’ve highlighted some of the best videos below, but if you’re a Maureen O’Hara fan at all, go watch the whole playlist here.

And, read our 2004 interview with Maureen O’Hara, now online, in which she talks about her memoir ’Tis Herself, the struggles of working with John Ford’s temperament, the generosity of John Wayne, and the time when she used to have drinks with Che Guevara in Cuba.

Italy, Sweden, Norway:

Ralna English plays the piano for Maureen O’Hara:

Cathy McGuire:

Danny (17):

Roisin Seoighe sings “Inish Free:”

3 Responses to “Weekly Comment:
Watch These Moving Birthday Tributes for Maureen O’Hara”

  1. Martina Murray says:

    To editors of Irish America magazine,
    I do hope that she did not watch them as it is not nice when a person is that old and frail to have to listen to thousands of strangers .I don,t know how the editors of Irish America Magazine did not see anything wrong with this. Also there were not many Irish people currently resent in Ireland to know of this idea of June,s.to send birthday greetings via video recording, as she blocked most of them save for a few.

  2. Barton B Mac Leod says:

    I had the pleasure to meet and photograph Maureen O’Hara in 2013. I also worked with John Wayne with movie credits. Barton B Mac Leod, Motion Pictures Photographer. (Born in Ireland)

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