There were huge sighs of relief and joy from thousands of fans when they learned that the iconic thatched cottage “White o’ Morn” that featured in The Quiet Man movie, starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara, had been placed under state protection. Galway County Council voted unanimously in late July to add the 19th century cottage to its list of protected structures. “This was the final step in the process to add it to the list of protected structures and it means the cottage now has legal protection,” Councilor Tom Healy said.
The cottage, which is located in Maam Valley, Connemara, was an actual family home dating from the 19th century and was still a family cottage when it was used as the exterior location for The Quiet Man. Although it was painted and landscaped for the film, the 64 years since the movie premiered have taken their toll and it now lies in ruin, needing professional and historic guidance to guarantee an authentic restoration.
The campaign to secure the future of the property and restore it to its former beauty has the support of A-list celebrities, including Liam Neeson, Michael Flatley, and Maureen O’Hara herself.
“If you think about Duke, John Ford and all the people who worked on the picture, it is sad to see the cottage in shambles,” Maureen O’Hara told Maureen O’Hara Magazine. “How can anyone say anything but wonderful things about it, and see to it that it is properly restored for them and in their memory – and for Ireland.”
In a personal statement of support, actor Liam Neeson said, “This little piece of movie architecture would then shine like a beacon for many generations to come, delighting thousands of tourists with its simple magic and standing as a monument to the great Irish grit, perseverance and welcoming charm that we are known for worldwide.”
The application to protected status was prepared in collaboration with a Grade 1 RIAI Conservation Architect who specializes in heritage conservation projects throughout Ireland, and restoration project supporters have already reviewed restoration requirements with a specialist heritage architect to guarantee an emphasis on authenticity. ♦