Almost 60 years after filming the most famous Irish movie of all time there, Maureen O’Hara returned in style to Cong, location of "The Quiet Man," on Friday.
The 91-year-old actress was guest of honor at the first ‘Quiet Man’ festival and she thrilled the crowds who waited hours for her arrival.
Locals clamored for pictures and autographs with the queen of the silver screen who seemed as feisty as she was when she starred opposite John Wayne in the famous film.
She told the crowd that, of all the 80 films she made, "The Quiet Man" was her best because her favorite leading man John Wayne and film director John Ford were working with her.
She also told how she used an Irish phrase, ‘Mala Codlata,’ meaning ‘sleeping bag’ when describing where she slept on the night of her screen wedding to John Wayne.
She described the film as ‘one of the greatest ever made,’ a sentiment happily agreed to by the locals and many dignitaries who attended.
As the cast and crew did 41 years ago, O'Hara stayed at Ashford Castle. Amazingly, she had never been officially invited back to Cong until yesterday.
She paraded through the streets accompanied by John Wayne’s daughter Marissa Wayne and his granddaughter Laura Monoz Bottini.
“Ireland held a special place in his heart. He always talked about wanting to bring me over here. Unfortunately, we never got to do that together, but I’m thinking he’s here in spirit,” said Marisa who was not born when "The Quiet Man" was made in 1951.
The Quiet Man festival was founded by a local committee to boost tourism and judging by the response it looks like being an annual feature.
No Irish Need Apply? Not anymore