When John Wayne and the cast arrived at Shannon Airport on Ireland’s West coast on June 5, 1951, they probably could not imagine that the beloved classic would draw "Quiet Maniacs" from all over the world to those lovely locations. The Quiet Man did more for Irish tourism than anything. Outside the U.S., Cong is the movie location most sought after by Wayne's fans.
It's one of the great hotels of the world: Ashford Castle, on Leaf Island near Cong. The cast didn't just occpupy the twenty-two double rooms and three singles. John Ford used the castle and its gardens in several scenes, even showing it behind the main titles. The crew filled the local Ryan’s Hotel on Cong’s main street and all the guesthouses in town (photo courtesy of Fáilte Ireland).
The Bishop and Reverend Playfair watch the big fight from Ashford Castle Bridge over Lough Corrib (photo courtesy of Fáilte Ireland).
What is now the third fairway of the Ashford Castle Golf Course was the field where Sean first lays eyes on his red-haired Colleen.
Many of the costumes were tailored by the O’Máille family and cast members including Wayne and O’Hara visited the shop personally, creating a major sensation in Galway City. The Original House of Style was then on Dominick Street, now located at 16 High St. When The association with The Quiet Man has brought the O’Máille’s international acclaim and to this day, they proudly display the sewing machine they used back then (photo courtesy of Original House of Style).
Ballyglunin Station is the first location in the movie, and the tunnel that Barry Fitzgerald travels through is just a short distance from the Victorian train station.
The now famous railway station is on an unknown road a forty-minute drive from Cong, virtually in the middle of nowhere, just off the road between Athenry and Tuam.
However, the “Castletown Station”, as Ballyglunin is named in the film, has been in a bad state of disrepair for sometime. The local community raised funds to restore it. Famous Irish actors endorsed the project (photo courtesy of Ballyglunin Railway Station).
The sidecar stops on the humpbacked Leam Bridge. You’ll find this lovely stone bridge on the right side off the Galway-Clifden road (from Maam Cross on the N59 to Oughterard).
It hasn’t changed one bit since 1951, being preserved by Galway County Council and signposted for the Quiet Maniacs.
The Quiet Man's main location is a „wee humble cottage“. Actually, the "White O'Morn" cottage is thirteen miles from Cong, in Maam. The stepping-stones in Failmore River are still in the stream.
For years, a legal battle over the ownership postponed the restoration of the iconic building time and again. However, to the left hand of the ruin of "White O'Morn" the little concrete bridge remains on which Michaeleen tells Sean he’ll “talk a little treason”.
Cong doubles for two Irish towns, Innisfree as well as Castletown. Pat Cohan’s Bar is the easiest location to find, right at the Market Cross on Main Street – even Michaeleen‘s horse knew exactly where the pub was (photo courtesy Pat Cohan Bar & Restaurant).
Ford used the upper part of Cong's Main Street fort he Castletown scenes. A craft shop named „Emily O’Connor“ is seen in the background as Sean and Mary Kate quarrel about the money.
Just across the Catholic parish, you’ll notice the beautiful ivy-covered home of the Reverend Playfair where the couple borrows the tandem.
The Danagher house, Victor McLaglen’s home in the film, is actually just around the corner from Ashford Castle; the farmyard is on the castle grounds on Broad Avenue. The same street will take you to what is locally known as The Meadow Field, the location for the beginning of the classic Wayne/McLaglen fight.
As Sean rests on a stonewall on his walk back, there’s a small island on Lough Corrib in the background with the ruins of Castlekirk on it and...
...the same field at Carrowgarriff was used twice: In the courting scene, Sean was getting rid of his bowler hat here.
After the couple escapes from the matchmaker, they get to the tourist attraction Thoor Ballylee, once a favorite haunt of the Irish poet W.B. Yeats (photo courtesy of Yeats Thoor Ballylee Society).
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All pictures posted on this website are from the collection of the author, unless otherwise noted