An impassioned plea has been made to restore the famous Quiet Man cottage in Connemara – made famous in the iconic movie more than 65 years ago – before it completely turns to rubble.
The owners of the cottage, which is located at Tirnakill near Maam, have been inundated with requests to have it restored – but the property has gradually fallen into a state of dilapidation.
A Belfast native living in Toronto is spearheading a campaign to have the cottage restored and says that several people has pledged major funding for this purpose – but it is a matter for the owners and Galway County Council to resolve.
Two years ago the cottage was designated a protected structure following a motion agreed by Galway County Council. But no efforts have been made to restore the cottage as a tourist attraction since.
Now, however, Quiet Man fan Paddy McCormick (56), who has been living in Toronto for the past eight years, is urging Galway County Council to act and contact the owner of the property in California.
“I have been a fan of John Ford’s works all my life and I am particularly passionate about The Quiet Man movie. I have watched it over and over again and it is an intrinsic part of Irish-American history,” Paddy told The Connacht Tribune from his Toronto home.
The cottage is now effectively a ruin. All that remains are the side walls of the house while the remainder has fallen into a crumbled state. Much of the stone has been removed by visitors to the area.
Fans of The Quiet Man will recall scenes of the cottage when John Wayne and Victor McLaglan returned to it following their famous punch-up as Maureen O’Hara’s character Mary Kate Danagher prepared their supper.
In his email to councilors, Paddy McCormick, who is involved in magazine publishing, said that it has been almost two years since the cottage was designated a protected structure but that it had fallen into further ruin and deterioration.
“It was a much celebrated vote but since then not one single thing has been done to further secure the cottage from its ever increasing ruin and deterioration – including the continued and total abandonment of the site by the property owner.
“I am now writing to request that the Council please consider taking further proactive action to secure this nationally and internationally recognised part of Irish-American cinema history for future generations – before it is allowed to disappear forever,” Paddy added.
He is suggesting that if all else fails then Galway County Council should enforce a compulsory purchase order on the cottage but he wanted this to be a last resort. “I would much prefer if the owners of the property made efforts to restore it”, he said.
Known as the White O’Morn Cottage, local Cllr Sean O Tuairisg believes that a commemorative plaque should be erected on the site in honour of the late Maureen O’Hara who passed away in 2015.