Film festival in honour of Hollywood icon Maureen O’Hara cancelled

The Irish film festival which honours screen icon Maureen O’Hara and hails Hollywood’s golden era has been cancelled at the eleventh hour.

Organisers of what was due to have been just the second Maureen O’Hara Classic Film Festival in West Cork later this month, yesterday said it is not going ahead.

The festival was due to run from June 24 to 29 in Glengarriff, where the screen legend has lived for several years.

The confirmation came yesterday afternoon via the festival’s Facebook page.

“We are sorry to have to announce that due to circumstances beyond our control, the Maureen O’Hara Classic Film Festival has been cancelled for this June 2012,” a short statement read.

Members of the festival’s organising committee, and Frank McCarthy, the head of the Maureen O’Hara Foundation, could not be contacted for comment last night.

Last year’s inaugural festival ran for 10-days and attracted high-profile guests including Rory Flynn, daughter of swashbuckler Errol Flynn and author, actress and former Playboy centrefold Susan Bernard, the daughter of Marilyn Monroe photographer Bruno Bernard.

Like last year’s festival, this year’s event was to feature appearances by The Quiet Man star, who turns 92 in August, as well as screenings of over a dozen classic movies, several of which featured Ms O’Hara in the lead role.

However, in recent weeks, organisers decided to mount a slimmed-down festival this year, running over six days. Then came the news yesterday it has been cancelled.

The Maureen O’Hara Foundation was set up to run the festival, and to deliver a more ambitious project — the creation of an €8.6m legacy centre, film academy and arena in Glengarriff.

It is hoped the centre will house the film star’s collection of memorabilia, and train students in all aspects of film-making.

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