O'Hara 'heartbroken' over assistant


ACTOR MAUREEN O’Hara (91) yesterday told of her trauma arising out of a legal dispute with her former personal assistant Carolyn Murphy.

At a press conference in Glengarriff, Co Cork, The Quiet Man star became emotional as her legal team confirmed that Ms Murphy no longer worked for her.

It also emerged that Ms Murphy no longer held power of attorney over Ms O’Hara’s affairs. “I am heartbroken,” Ms O’Hara said.

Accompanied by her grandson Conor Fitzsimons and members of her legal team, including New York-based lawyer Edward Fickless, Ms O’Hara became visibly upset as she spoke about unfolding events.

Pablo O’Neil, a long-time friend of the actor’s late husband, Charles Blair, was among the entourage to accompany Ms O’Hara to yesterday’s press conference at the Eccles Hotel.

She asked for prayers and said she was confident her friends and acquaintances from all over the world would help her at this time.

The annual Maureen O’Hara film festival, due to take place in Glengarriff later this summer, has been cancelled.

Mr Fickless said Ms O’Hara called the press conference in order to set the record straight, in response to reports circulating in the media in recent weeks. The primary aim of the press conference was to “quell rumours”.

Mr Fickless confirmed Ms Murphy’s power of attorney in relation to Ms O’Hara’s affairs ended “around a month ago”. The pair, who met in Glengarriff in 1978, shared a long-term close friendship and Ms Murphy became Ms O’Hara’s constant companion at public events.

A spokesman for Ms Murphy said she had been a true friend to Maureen O’Hara. “Carolyn Murphy has always acted in Ms O’Hara’s best interest and will continue to do so. She’s dealing with these unfortunate affairs in the appropriate way.”