Saturday, September 13, 2014

An American Connection in Cong

The village of Cong is as charming as its Abbey is beautiful. It's full of quaint cottages and interesting shops. The village name in Gaelic is Cunga Fheichin which means 'St. Feicin's narrows.' The village is built on a narrow limestone strip of land between Lough Corrib and Lough Mask. The village's other claim to fame (besides its lovely Abbey)is that it was the home of Sir William and Lady Wilde, parents of Oscar Wilde. Although Oscar was born in Dublin, he returned frequently to his parental home just outside Cong saying 'it is every way magnificent.'

Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne
Cong, Ireland
But what about Cong's American connection? You'll find it right here on the corner of main street. Cong was the site of John Ford's 1952 film, 'The Quiet Man.' starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Ward Bond, and Barry Fitzgerald. As you can see, Cong is very proud of that! Not only is there this life-size bronze statue, but you can also visit The Quiet Man museum which is located 'round the corner in the very cottage that was used as Mary-Kate and Sean Thornton's home in the movie. Of course, I had to buy the DVD when I found it in a Galway bookstore. It's your typical boy-meets-girl movie. True love is thwarted by Mary-Kate's nasty brother and a old Irish tradition regarding her dowry. But in the end, Sean beats up the brother, secures the dowry, and they all live happily ever after. You won't be watching this film for its plot! But do watch it for the stunning scenery (filmed on location in and around Cong) and its thrilling horse race.

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