Maureen O’Hara statue in Glengarriff does actress ‘a disservice’

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A statue of Maureen O’Hara in West Cork has been criticized online for its poor likeness.

The statue was unveiled earlier this week in Glengarriff with the Visit Glengarriff Facebook page stating it was commissioned by Cork County Council.

Ms O’Hara was born in Dublin and spent much of her time in Glengarriff before moving there permanently in 2005.

A statue of the Hollywood star had been destined for the neighborhood for several years.

However, it has since drawn criticism online, with one commenter calling it “an insult to the people of Glengarriff”.

Another asked that it be melted down and the process started again because the statue is doing her a “disservice”.

One reviewer suggested that a bench with a plaque in memory of Mrs. O’Hara would be a more appropriate way to mark her connection to the village.

In a statement to the Irish Examiner, Cork County Council said the Glengarriff Tourist and Development Association (GTDA) began planning the project in 2017 at a cost of €60,000.

“Cork County Council has also incurred costs of €27,726 to date for earthworks to prepare the location for the statue.” The GDTA commissioned a statue in 2017, but later told the Council that the statue supplied was not suitable for the installation.

The Council advised the group to ensure that a new commission provides a life-size representation of Ms O’Hara.

However, the GTDA “advised the Board on behalf of the community partners that the cost of a full-scale performance was outside their financial limits and that they were unable to deliver the commission as planned in the origin”.

Maureen O’Hara

The Council then took over the project, in order to conclude it “on behalf of the community and to translate their commitment to commemorate this former inhabitant of the village”.

“Cork County Council then commissioned sculptor Don Cronin in December 2020 at a cost of €33,000.00 to deliver and install a life-size statue of Maureen O’Hara in Glengarriff from funds provided by the through the Town and Village Scheme,” the statement added.

Last year the Irish Examiner reported that the local authority had sought the return of a grant for an earlier effort after a statue of Ms O’Hara was found to be “not a good likeness”.

The movie star became a Hollywood hit in the 1940s and was a longtime friend of John Wayne, his co-star in The Quiet Man which was filmed in Mayo and Galway.

She received a lifetime achievement award at the 2004 IFTA and in 2014 she received an honorary Oscar.

He described her as: “One of Hollywood’s brightest stars, whose inspiring performances shone with passion, warmth and strength.”

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