O’Hara, who now lives in County Cork, said, “It’s a privilege for me to have Brenda Fricker pick up the inaugural award. Brenda has displayed courage and determination throughout her career and her Oscar-winning role as Mrs. Brown in My Left Foot is one of the great highlights in Irish acting. I’m absolutely delighted that Brenda will accept this award and I wish her the very best in her career, in film and, most importantly, in her life.”
Fricker said, “I’m absolutely thrilled to accept the award. It’s lovely to be honoured and there’s a wee space on my mantle piece, right next to the Oscar, for this.” The Maureen O’Hara Award acknowledges women that have demonstrated outstanding leadership in their respective fields.
The Awards ceremony will also screen of award winning short films judged by Kerry Film Festival’s panel of judges Liam Neeson, Kirsten Sheridan, John Carney and Oscar-winning short filmmakers Suzie Templeton and Vanessa Roth.
The closing night film will be Dambe: The Mali Project, a musical documentary that follows Irish musicians Liam O’ Maonlai and Paddy Keenan on a trip of musical discovery to the most remote music festival in the world, Festival au Desert in Mali.
Naman Ramachandran cineuropa.org