Star Wars: Mark Hamill meets seriously-ill teenager from Derry

Mark Image copyright Harkin family
Image caption Mark Hamill met Jamie Harkin, 17, and Ciaran Murphy, 2, along with their families

Star Wars actor Mark Hamill has taken time out of his filming schedule to meet a seriously-ill teenager from Londonderry.

Hamill met Jamie Harkin, 17, who is in remission from Hodgkins Lymphoma but now has severe chronic health problems, at a hotel in County Donegal.

The Luke Skywalker actor also met Ciaran Murphy, two, who has leukaemia.

The Hollywood star was in County Donegal to film scenes for the latest installment in the Star Wars franchise.

On Sunday, he and co-star Daisy Ridley visited pubs near Malin Head.

Image copyright Harkin family
Image caption Jamie Harkin said he was left 'speechless' after he 'finally met my idol'

Filming has now finished in County Donegal and the cast have moved on to County Cork, but Hamill found time to meet with Jamie, Ciaran and their families before leaving.

Jamie told BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra that he was "still in shock" from the meeting.

"It's been a dream for me to meet Mark Hamill ever since I first saw the Star Wars films more than 10 years ago.

"To actually meet him and sit down and chat with him for over an hour - it was absolutely incredible."

Jamie said that the actor spoke to him about his diagnosis and that he had read about it on a Facebook page that details his journey.

Image copyright Harkin family
Image caption Jamie's mother. Patricia Harkin, said Mark Hamill was 'very charismatic'

"He just said that after he read through everything we'd done over the past year, with Jamie's journey, that to him I am his hero.

"But what he said, I would rather keep as a personal thing."

The meeting was organised by Jamie's mother, Patricia.

She set up a social media campaign to try to get the star to get in touch.

"I wasn't starstruck, to be honest, because when Mark came in he just put everyone completely at ease," she said.

"It was just unbelievable that a man of his magnitude could just come in and sit down, almost like a father figure.

"Jamie couldn't speak for about 15 minutes and Ciaran's older brother Caolan couldn't speak for the entire hour."

Image copyright Harkin family
Image caption Mark Hamill with two-year-old Ciaran Murphy and his mother Sinead Barr

She said that the family were told on Saturday that the Star Wars actor wanted to meet Jamie.

"When his assistant rang me, I just burst out crying.

"I really knew it was going to happen and when I met Mark today, he's just such a humble, genuine, caring man."

Sinead Barr, the mother of Ciaran Murphy, said it was "a fantastic experience".

"He was very approachable, he sat and talked as if we had been friends all our lives.

"He chatted about the film, about his other passions. He spoke to us as parents of children who are fighting.

"He spoke to Jamie specifically around what an amazing young person he is, which is true - he's a fantastic young man and an inspiration to so many."

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