Sunday, December 6, 2015

God Bless...

The were honored to pipe at 
Maureen O'Hara's burial last month.
Our son Jerry has been a Shannon Rover for a few years now, 
and he was honored to be piping at Arlington Cemetery.

My Italian mother loved Maureen O'Hara. 
I'm hoping they've found each other.

By Cliff Carlso

Maureen O'Hara was laid to rest yesterday, November 9, 2015 beside her husband, Charles Blair, in Arlington National Cemetery.
Maureen, who passed away in her sleep October 24, 2015 at her grandson's home in Boise, Idaho was given a grand send off by Chicago's own Shannon Rovers, who were honored to perform at this mostly private event at the invitation of Maureen's grandson, Conor Beau FitzSimons.

Another Chicago native on hand and well known for her lilting voice, Catherine O'Connell, sang beautifully at the wake, the Mass, and the funeral.

One of Maureen's best friends in Ireland, Sally Ryan, made the trip over as well as a contingent of Irish from Glengariff in County Cork, the town she loved so well. The owner of Casey's Hotel in Glengariff, Donal Deasy, was there as well as the Lyne's and the O'Sullivan's. Margaret O'Shaughnessy of the Foynes Flying Boat and Maritime Museum also made the trip from County Limerick. "Maureen helped us launch the opening of the museum," she said.

Others who made the long trip to honor Maureen included John Wayne's daughter, Melinda Munoz, who appeared as a child in "The Quite Man." "Maureen "was like an aunt to me. She came to all my children's weddings, she said."
Her manager, Johnny Nicoletti and Charles Blair's family were in attendance as well, paying respects from all corners of America.

Brian Downes, Executive Director of the John Wayne Birthplace & Museum and his daughter Katie, traveled from Winterset, Iowa, and were a big reason the Shannon Rovers were there. Brian had invited several members of the band to play at the opening of the museum and Maureen was on hand to help with the launch. Miss O'Hara loved the Rovers so much, that her grandson, Conor, invited them to be a part of the funeral.
The wake, the Mass, and the funeral were held on a beautiful weekend in Washington D.C., with rain holding off as if by divine direction until the ceremonies were well over.

Long time Shannon Rovers Band manager, Bill McTighe, was able to gather 45 band members in six short days to make the trip to Washington D.C. "We were truly honored to be invited and to make the trip. I believe even more of our band members would have liked to go if they could!"

Irish Times reporter, Simon Carswell, was on hand doing his usual fine job, but I saw no other Irish press.

I wonder if Ireland knows what a treasure they have lost?

"It takes a minute to find a special person, 
an hour to appreciate them, 
and a day to love them, 
but it takes an entire lifetime to forget them."


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