The photo above shows White O'Morn Cottage in Tiernakill, Maumm, County Galway as it was in 1951 when Hollywood came to Connemara. People in Connemara and even in Galway City are still talking about that magical six-weeks to this very day.
This old site, which now lies in ruins, is better known to the world as "The Quiet Man Cottage." The structure was depicted as the home of Sean Thornton (played by John Wayne) and Mary Kate Danaher (played by Maureen O'Hara) in the 1952 motion picture "The Quiet Man."
As you will see in the video below, something needs to be done quickly if this lovely old place that survived the famine years and countless other hardships is to be brought back from the edge of final extinction. Maureen O'Hara, in 2004, called the state of the cottage a "national disgrace," and I think most will find it difficult to disagree with her assessment.
What can be done? What is being done? There are multiple groups and organisations currently trying to work with the current owner of the property and Galway County Council to bring this dream to fruition, but complications and red tape still stand in the way.
In this discussion thread, I'm hoping to hear from the groups and individuals involved in this ongoing saga. That includes the groups trying to raise awareness, the property owner, and the Galway County Council. I'm also hoping to hear from anyone who has seen that grand old film "The Quiet Man" and anyone who understands the inherent value in restoring and preserving this important piece of Ireland's past.
Wear a cowboy hat as you travel throughout Ireland... every where you turn someone will call out "Hey John Wayne! How are ya?"
Never more so than the village of Cong where we couldn't go more than fifty feet without someone likening us to The Duke.
"Ya know he used ta stand on this very spot...Nicest man!"...
Oddly enough, the Quiet Man film itself met with quite a bit of resistance in Ireland when it was first released. There were those that said that the interaction between Sean & Mary Kate didn't paint the Irish in a good light.
As an American, I can watch it for what it is, light-hearted, overly romanticised, and not all a portrayal of the true Ireland. It was never intended to be that though.
It appears that false information and rumors are being circulated by others working on the QUIET MAN cottage project that Galway County Council has agreed to to add the the cottage to the protected structures list , So far all Galway County Council has agreed to do is investigate the proposal ........... The subject of the cottage got mention at the County Council meeting on OCT 05-010-14 . and here is a copy of the mention and response i quote ..........
Today the submissions to add the Quiet man cottage came before the council. The council advised the Councillors that the cottage could only be added by means of following regulatory process and as such the cottage wasn't added directly to the list.
I proposed that Galway County Council begin the process necessary to add the Cottage to the list of protected structures and the motion has been passed. This is just the start of a long road, and success is by no means guaranteed, but I hope this will be supportive of the many people who hold the cottages significance close to their heart...... end of quote No doubt this misinformation has and is causing confusion , we in the SAVE THE QUIET MAN COTTAGE group would like to clarify that Galway County Council did NOT agree to add the cottage ruins to the list of protected structure as the notes above confirm ,
Ryan, a chara, thought you might be interested in this from Rutgers:
there is already at least one group on FB "Save the Quiet Man Cottage"
The problem isn't... at the moment... in raising monies..that will come.. it is in the fact that Mr Ebbitt is the owner of the property and no terms have been agreed upon to date
Galway County Council will begin its formal review of the 'Record of Protected Structures' in September (to include the potential addition of 'The Quiet Man' cottage to that record). It's not too late to show you really care about 'saving' the cottage from further ruin. If you haven't already signed the petition in support of our formal submission to Galway County Council, please click on this link and add your voice to the many thousands already requesting substantive action from the Elected Members... http://chn.ge/1fGIZSE
Hi Cara , Great to read your very positive post above and its very heartning to note the wonderful universal interest in the movie over 60 years on , Sadly the wee cottage that featured so beautifuly centerpiece in the movie has been allowed to fall into its current dreadful state , no more than a pile of stones , However all hope is not lost , Meantime i would highly reccomend that you read the blog via the link i include below , i have no doubt its content will be very surprising to you and many more contributers to this topic of the cottage on this website . http://dukefanclub.weebly.com/blog/is-the-quiet-man-cottage-about-t...
I'd really like to hear the particulars of what is being done, and what can be done by anyone and everyone interested to save this gem of Irish cinematic and cultural history.
Hoping to hear from Mike Ward and Paddy McCormick who are both members of The Wild Geese community and who are both engaged in these efforts in a major way.
Despite the passionate efforts of people like myself, Mike Ward – and others – the cottage remains in 'limbo' and continues to deteriorate.
I recently decided to try and take some substantive action to break the impasse and commissioned a professional Architectural Heritage Appraisal of the location.
The Architectural Heritage Appraisal was prepared by a RIAI Grade 1 accredited Conservation Architect – who specialises in the assessment and appraisal of architectural heritage sites and has prepared a number of county surveys for the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (NIAH) which form the basis for ministerial recommendations for the designation of protected structures. He has also advised local authorities directly on protection of architectural heritage, notably Louth, Meath, Laois, Longford, Dublin, Fingal, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Wicklow and Kerry.
His Architectural Heritage Appraisal presents an irrefutable case for, and professionally substantiates, the totally UNIQUE cultural significance of this iconic location – which really should be a gem in Connemara’s tourism crown.
The Architectural Heritage Appraisal was submitted to Galway County Council (supported by an 8,500 signature petition) requesting that the Council add the cottage and its curtilage to the Record of Protected Structures (RPS).
The purpose of addition to the RPS would be to halt further deterioration of the cottage and very importantly – it’s curtilage – before everything is lost forever. Neither should be allowed to, needlessly and unnecessarily, rot away into oblivion.
The remains of the house have been allowed to deteriorate into ruinous condition. It is essential to protect what is left from further decay, from possible clearance of the site, or from insensitive redevelopment. The house and certain site features hold important cultural value and are held dear by thousands of people worldwide. These features must be retained and restored to a high degree of authenticity, not swept away and replaced with a poor replica.
If the site were developed in the future without the protection conferred by protected structure status, there would be no mechanism to ensure that best conservation practice would be followed. There would be no way to ensure that the rebuilt cottage would be a true reconstruction, using traditional building skills and reflecting the historic footprint, layout and vernacular character of the house as seen in The Quiet Man film. Furthermore, there would be a legitimate fear that significant features within the curtilage would not be respected. The concrete bridge, stepping stones, dry stone walls, rose garden etc are essential elements which feature in the film and add to the richness of the site, and which deserve legal protection.
In fact, as things currently stand – without ANY legislative protection – this iconic site could be leveled without consequence or accountability.
I have recently been reading 'reports' – on Facebook and elsewhere – that the 1950s derelict bungalow situated next to the cottage would be have to be retained if TQM cottage were added to the RPS. I have also read that the ruin would have to be kept as just that – a ruin – if TQM cottage were added to the RPS. Neither are true.
The Conservation Architect has read these reports and confirmed that they contain both inaccurate and misleading information – presented as being 'fact'.
The Conservation Architect confirmed:
The 1950s derelict bungalow can - and should - be removed.
Adding the cottage to the RPS would not limit it being – authentically – restored at a later date.
Several of the re-elected and newly-elected Councillors have already responded to me in private messages expressing their support – and desire – to add the cottage and site to the RPS. Nine Connemara Councillors have each received their own individual copies of the Architectural Heritage Appraisal.
We are now waiting for 'Record of Protected Structures' to be tabled as a formal agenda item for a future Council meeting.
Adding the cottage and the site to the RPS would not be a final solution – just an important, and tangible, first step FORWARD. In fact, it would represent the ONLY substantive step forward for this iconic cottage/location in more than 60 years.
Go raibh mile maith agat for your thorough response, Padraig
Patrick / Luke , , you fail to mention several very important facts above including that a successful petition could actually harm the future prospects of the cottage, you dismiss Galway County Councils opinion that a successful petition would have very serious negative ramifications on the ruins and that you had not fully researched the ramifications , you ignored that advice and continued to promote the petition in effect you are and have been misleading the well; meaning public through failing , to research the whole issue and impact of a successful petition http://dukefanclub.weebly.com/blog/is-the-quiet-man-cottage-about-t...
My reply to Patrick McCormac on behalf of the SAVE THE QUIET MAN COTTAGE facebook group , First of all may i commend you on the statement you made above which appears to be very valid and reasonable to the less informed . However you fail to present a lot of very important facts that you are aware of , these omissions definatly present the situation in a very unfair fashion , and your statement is not at all the real picture , despite the fact you were informed via a third party by Galway County Council that your petition would only be useful if the cottage was already restored and that a successful petition would in fact be more harmful in fact a successful petition would render the ruins to be preserved as a ruins strictly that , The councils reply clearly stated that it seemed you and Ms Beck had failed to research the ramifications of a successgul petition on the project before you both launched it , However despite the Councils advice you both went ahead promoting the petition ( and still are ) ignoring the councils advice and yet you expect the council to accept and vote on your petition to have the ruins frozen , Now lets face the facts here Patrick the whole future of the cottage ruins are in the hands of the owner Gregory Ebbitt you and i know as the whole world does too all the petitions you or anyone can muster will not get the cottage restored he is the owner full stop , ( this you have admitted yourself many times in the past ) fact .... without Gregory Ebbits coperation the cottage will never be restored .
"White O'Morn Foundation" on Facebook is simply the title of a community of 'Quiet Man' fans advocating to get the iconic thatched cottage from the movie protected from further ruin.
The former "Maureen O'Hara Foundation' is nothing to do with the above. It was reported in the news that it ran into 'difficulties' a few years back. I know nothing more about it beyond what I read in some of the papers at the time...