But he did rattle some cages when, remarking on the passing of Maureen O’Hara, he noted that "The Quiet Man" was a less than stellar film.
“Wife beating, priest ridden, blather talking gombeen men getting drunk standing around gossiping and then erupting into stereotypical Irish behavior violent fighting.”
McCourt held nothing back.
“John (Right Wing) Wayne could never qualify as as an Irishman (too much of an ass——-e) even if he kept his maiden name Marion Morrison. No true Irish person takes pride in that low class insult ("The Quiet Man") to Ireland and I hope Maureen O'Hara is not in a place where she has to watch it and I hope Wayne is.”
McCourt underlined that he was not attacking O’Hara personally, he simply took exception to the film that made her famous. Later he added: “Odd thing, on learning of Maureen O'Hara’s death I thought of that ridiculous film. Said nothing derogatory of Maureen merely I hoped she were somewhere where she did not have to watch the bloody thing.”
The furor over his comments about the film was immediate and reminded him of the stung reactions to his brother’s – and his own – works over the years.
“The whole McCourt clan was attacked for putting Ireland in a bad light. "Angela's Ashes" apparently doing more damage than anything ever published. Isn’t the truth just awful?”
A poster called Brendan Jordan took strong exception to his views, writing: ”My father says he went to see Frank and Malachy McCourt when they came out to Bay Shore to do show of some kind. According to my father's recollection they dressed in overalls, kept bare feet, and played to every negative Irish stereotype there was. This would have been in the '70s or '80s, I believe.”
McCourt was having none of this, however, replying: BULLSH--T! WE did a show for years it's still being done by others “'A Couple of Blaguards.' Your father was either drunk or was out without his keeper that evening or he could be a liar, but never was that show ever done shoeless or in overalls.”
Word to the wise, do not cross a McCourt, you will lose.