Sixty years after housing the iconic romance of John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara in ‘The Quiet Man,’ the cottage of White O’Morn finally faces restoration. The thatched house has lain empty, growing ever more decrepit, for the past 27 years.
Now Culture Minister Jimmy Deenihan has at last persuaded the cottage’s owner, Gregory Ebbitt, that there’s money to be made by fixing up the cottage and charging admission to it as a heritage site, the Irish Examiner reported.
When Ebbitt, a Canadian living in California, bought White O’Morn in 1985, he said he wished to restore the site—but for years, the cottage showed no signs of repair.
Admission fees to a White O’Morn heritage site could total $25 million annually, according to Mike Ward, founder of the ‘Save the Quiet Man Cottage’ group, the Examiner wrote.
The renovation costs will reach $5 million, most of which will be solicited from Hollywood and corporate investors who recognize the moneymaking potential of the project.
“There’s no doubt it has the potential to be an absolute goldmine and everyone sees that,” Ward told the Examiner.
White O’Morn cottage lies 18km from Cong, the village shooting location for most of the film. Now a tourist attraction, Cong will host a three-day festival next weekend, celebrating the movie’s sixtieth anniversary, which at least 5,000 fans are expected to attend.
O’Hara, who will be honored at the festival, turned 92 last week.
Watch the RTE News report on the cottage restoration—and see the cottage in its current state—here:
Here's the movie trailer for the much loved movie "The Quiet Man":