Local showband musician Frankie McDonald, who met Neil Armstrong in Tralee fifteen years ago. The famous astronaut died last weekend.
Neil Armstrong, who took "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" when he became the first person to walk on the moon, died on Saturday last.
Among those with fond memories of the legendary astronaut is Athlone showband musician Frankie McDonald, who met Armstrong during his first visit to Ireland in April 1997.
The unplanned meeting between the two men took place in the lobby of The Brandon Hotel in Tralee.
"I was touring with Joe Dolan at the time and we were playing a gig in a theatre called the Siamsa Tíre in Tralee," recalled Frankie on Monday.
"I went into the Brandon Hotel for a meal and I was just finishing up when a musician I knew, Dermot Flynn, told me that Neil Armstrong would be coming into the hotel in about five minutes' time.
"Sure enough, he came in shortly afterwards with a big entourage of security people. I thought I wouldn't be able to get near him but I was actually able to go up and shake his hand.
"I told him 'you're very welcome to Ireland' and he said 'thank you very much'. Then I asked him if he would sign an autograph for me and he said he would. The only problem was that I didn't have a pen or a piece of paper!" laughed Frankie.
"He then waited patiently while I went over to the reception to borrow something for him to sign. He was very gracious and courteous."
Armstrong was in Ireland at the time to open a space exhibition at the Kerry County Museum.
He was 82 years old when he died last weekend, and obituaries described him as a modest and unassuming man.
President Barack Obama said he was "among the greatest of American heroes," adding that his moonwalk "delivered a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten."
The autograph which Armstrong made out to Frankie McDonald and his wife Mai is among photos and memorabilia which the Athlone resident keeps on the wall of his office at home.
Over the years, Frankie has performed with numerous groups including The Drifters and The Saints. His 'Showband Nostalgia' band is currently touring with comedian Brendan Grace.