Funnyman Brendan Grace will celebrate Christmas a day early this year, ahead of his countrywide January tour, he tells Margaret Lawlor

Tributes came pouring in from across the globe this October when iconic Irish actress, Maureen O’Hara, passed away, aged 95. Friends and family mourned the loss of the Hollywood screen legend, none more so than her close friend, Brendan Grace.

The comedian struck up a friendship with the famous lady in 1999. Mutual friends, Donal and Eileen Deasy of Casey’s Hotel in Glengarriff, Co Cork, arranged for the pair to meet, following a letter Brendan had written expressing a burning ambition to one day be acquainted with Ms O’ Hara.

“I wrote to her about 30 years ago when she was living in the Caribbean and I sent her a copy of my show on video,” recalls Brendan. “She wrote back a beautiful letter to me, and she said she was knocked out with my Dublin humour as she too was a Dubliner. She said she hoped we would meet one day. Well years later, in 1999, one Saturday evening in Glengarriff, this lady came over and tapped me on the shoulder and said ‘I believe you’d like to meet my mother.’ It was Bronwyn, Maureen O’ Hara’s daughter. My legs turned to jelly.

My wife, Eileen, and I had to follow her in a car up a long country-drive with a beautiful view of Glengarriff Bay. When we finally went into the house, I can still see, about ten feet away, stood Maureen O’Hara with a big smile and her arms outstretched. I started to cry!”

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