Maureen O’Hara was formally inducted this afternoon into the Irish America Hall of Fame at the newly renovated Dunbrody visitor’s centre, New Ross, Co Wexford.
President of Ireland Mary McAleese and Former US President Bill Clinton celebrated the event with letters of good wishes.
President Mary McAleese celebrated Maureen’s lifetime achievements by saying, "During her long and distinguished acting career Maureen’s great talent has brought joy and great pleasure to many thousands of people all over the world. However, despite her worldwide success and popularity, Maureen has never lost her strong connection with Ireland and has always made us very proud to claim her as ‘one of our own’."
The President went on to say "I would like to thank Maureen for all she has contributed to this country’s reputation abroad. I would like to congratulate her on all she has achieved and wish her continued success and happiness."
Former US President Bill Clinton paid tribute to Maureen by saying, "After a career as Hollywood’s ‘unofficial ambassador’ from the Emerald Isle, you’ve earned the respect and admiration of colleagues and fans alike."
He went on to say, "As a longtime admirer of your work and a fellow Irish-American, I thank you for all that you’ve done to nurture our world’s appreciation for the Irish culture."
During the induction ceremony music was provided by David Creevey, Sharon Stone and Garard Farrelly; son of the late Dick Farrelly who composed The Isle of Innisfree, which became the theme of the film, The Quiet Man.
The Dublin actress (born Maureen FitzSimons), who turns 91 on August 17, is a genuine Irish acting legend who graced the silver screen for over five decades opposite such leading men as Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn, James Stewart and her own personal favourite, John Wayne.
Dubbed ''The Queen of Technicolor'', courtesy of that famous flaming red hair and those green eyes, Maureen will be forever remembered for such classic movies as How Green Was My Valley (1939), The Black Swan (1942), Rio Grande (1950) and the enduring John Ford gem, The Quiet Man (1952).
The Irish America Hall of Fame celebrates the lives, works and achievements of noted Irish individuals such as President John F Kennedy and the Kennedys, Henry Ford, Donald Keough and President Clinton; and now Maureen O’Hara.