The Letter I Wish I had Sent by Bridie (Jennings) McMahon, Pollamhaolla, Hollymount.

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'The Letter I Wish I had Sent by Bridie (Jennings) McMahon, Pollamhaolla, Hollymount.' page

From Sunday Independent LETTERS SERIES June 25th, 2017

Dear Yoko Ono,

I have been meaning to write to you for so long.  First after John Lennon was shot – the whole world loved his wonderful music.

Secondly, to jog your memory of May 3rd, 1968. Both of you flew into the Great Southern Hotel, Mulrany, Co. Mayo (now the Park Inn ). The Beatles had purchased Dornish Island of 19 acres for the  sum of £1,550.00, in Clew Bay. John wanted to experience the Wild Atlantic Way surrounding that beautiful tranquil island, and wanted somewhere to provide him with isolation. It was only a ten minute trip by helicopter from the hotel to the island.  The hotel was booked out for three days and three nights by John and you and his security staff including Ronan O’Rahilly of Radio Caroline. There was excitement everywhere. We all wanted to see John Lennon and Yoko Ono. After all we were singing the Beatle’s hit songs on a daily basis in our place of work.

O Ba La Di, O B La Da, A Hard Day’s Night, Help I need somebody to love, Penny Lane, Yellow Submarine and I’m Happy Just to dance with you and of course ‘ Hey Jude ‘

I worked in Reception at Great Southern Hotel, Mulrany along with Sal Scott, Margaret Nealis RIP and Pat Mannion. We wore turquoise suits with white blouses and we looked a million dollars and felt good looking out from our Reception/Check in desk.

On your second night at the hotel ‘An Irish Night’ of traditional music was organized to impress ye, Tony Chambers from Newport played his heart out that night with toe tapping music.  I danced a Reel, Jig, and Hornpipe. I wore a green pleated skirt with a white blouse and frills on the sleeves. John Flood our head bar man filled some drinks for ye the guests.  We lent you Yuko Ono a pair of flat shoes and you danced with us.  You enjoyed yourself immensely   and I think I’d be right in saying that was your first taste of Ireland’s Music and song, we could see it in your faces.

Next day ye were flown out to’ Dornish Island’ taking with ye some staff to serve refreshments taken out on the helicopter. On your departure we were all so sad. For those three days we were elated and on a high being only 22, love was in the air and image was important with a glint in our eyes. Bouquet of beautiful red roses was delivered to Reception at John’s request for me for entertaining John Lennon with my Irish dancing.  Soon the media were on the phone , The Daily Mirror, Telegraph and local papers, all wanted  answers to the same questions ‘ Describe the Roses, What did John write? I wish I kept his handwriting on that card and everything associated with that historic visit to Great Southern Hotel, Mulrany, Co. Mayo.

A few years ago I visited John’s’ IMAGINE’  Project in Strawberry Beds, Central Park, New York City. I sat on one of the benches looking up at the Apt where you and John lived prior to his assassination. I sang again to myself ‘ She Loves You Yea Yea Yea’ and I was 22 and back in Mulrany, in Co. Mayo reminiscing about that time in my life and how lucky I was to have met John Lennon and yourself in person and learnt so many of the Beatle Songs.  Every time I hear John Lennon singing ‘IMAGINE ‘a tear comes to my eyes as he was special. And so I sing’ Let It Be’

Thanks for the Memories.

This page was added by Averil Staunton on 13/05/2020.