Fiery-haired actress Maureen O’Hara may have been living in Boise, Idaho, when she died October 24 at age 95, but her thoughts always returned to Ireland, where she’d owned a County Cork estate for 45 years – until just weeks before her death.
Lugdine Park, as the property is known, includes a five-bedroom, 3,665-square-foot main house and guest cottage, two private islands, a private bathing beach and outdoor changing rooms in its 35 acres, bordering Glengarriff Golf Club. She listed it for about $2 million; it sold for about $1.8 million.
O’Hara described visiting the property with her then-husband, Charles Blair Jr. (as quoted in a PDF of a promotional brochure):
“Driving through the one road village, I knew right away that it had all the cozy charm we were looking for. We turned down the long avenue and kept driving and driving for what seemed like miles, looking for the house. We still hadn’t seen it when Charlie glimpsed the sea through the trees. His face lit up, and I knew. He said, ‘Oh this is perfect. It’s perfect! We’re buying it.’ Ever sensible, I reminded him, ‘But, Charlie, we haven’t seen the house yet. How do you know?’ He gave me a pilot’s answer. ‘Oh, it’s a perfect place to land a seaplane,’ and so we continued down the road and bought the house at the end of it.”
The buyer is from the U.K., which isn’t surprising given the recent strength of the British pound against the euro, said Roseanne de Vere Hunt, the Christie’s International Real Estate agent representing Lugdine Park. “There is great interest from the U.K. buyer in Irish properties, especially in the West Cork area, as it has breathtaking sea views and an easy access through an international airport a short distance away.”
O’Hara’s career spanned 75 years and more than 50 films, including “Miracle on 34th Street,” five movies with John Wayne and other films opposite such leading men as Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Tyrone Power, Errol Flynn, Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda.
O’Hara left Europe for Hollywood after World War II began in 1939, but she was always proudly Irish. When a journalist asked her in 2014 how she remained so beautiful, she explained: “I was Irish. I remain Irish. And Irish women don’t let themselves go.”
In 1970 she bought Lugdine Park, but she moved to Idaho in 2013 to be closer to U.S. relatives.
“She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favorite movie, ‘The Quiet Man,’” her family said in a statement. In the film, John Wayne plays a retired American boxer who returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds true love – O’Hara.
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