2010: THE DAY JOHN WAYNE ASKED MY GRANNY FOR A 'BLACK BEER'. The Diary, Irish Independent. August 21st, 2010.
It was 60 years ago this summer that John Wayne rode the winning horse in a race on Lettergesh beach in Co Mayo.
No stranger to a saddle, the Duke was in Connemara filming legendary Irish movie The Quiet Man.
This event is to be commemorated in The John Wayne Steeplechase on the same stretch of sand next Saturday.
Race organiser Mike Laffey's grandmother lived close to the sands at the time and entertained Wayne shortly after his horse romped home.
"Grandmother told me John Wayne knocked at the door asking for some 'black beers'. What he meant, of course, was Guinness and she filled him a glass from a cold bucket.
"She remembered that Wayne had a few more refills before he left but was utterly charming," Mike told The Diary this week.
The John Wayne Steeplechase is part of the Connemara Rough Diamond Race and Music Festival, details on www.connemararough diamond.com.
Meanwhile, The Diary was delighted to spot the True Grit star in the window of the Balla Bán Art Gallery in the Westbury Mall (off Dublin's Grafton St) this week. Marking Maureen O'Hara's 90th birthday last Tuesday, here's Wayne with Maureen in the canvas The Quiet Man by Northern artist Roy Wallace.