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Mass celebrated in Co Mayo to mark 70th anniversary of filming of The Quiet Man

John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara starred in John Ford's The Quiet Man 1952.Picture by PA Photo/ Handout

A MASS was celebrated in Co Mayo last night to mark the 70th anniversary of the filming of the classic movie, The Quiet Man.

The service at Cong Church was held to commemorate the start of filming in the village of Cong in June 1951. It was dedicated to those involved in the making of the classic film starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.

Organisers said it was for the "cast, crew and people of the parish who were involved in the making of The Quiet Man".

The service was also live streamed on The Quiet Man Museum Facebook page due to a limit of the number of people allowed to gather together amid the continuing coronavirus measures in the Republic.

The American romantic comedy-drama, which was set in the west of Ireland and directed by John Ford, won Oscars for best director and best cinematography.

Hollywood legends Wayne and O'Hara were among the stars who filmed all the outdoor scenes for the movie on location in Cong, including on the grounds of Ashford Castle, before it was released in 1952.

The connections with the film have led to the area becoming a tourist attraction, with a museum and tours dedicated to the movie.

Wayne starred as Sean Thornton, an Irish American retired boxer who returns to Ireland from an America he feels is too much in love with the dollar and seeks to rediscover the simple life his parents had.

O'Hara played his love interest, Mary Kate Danaher.

Wayne and O'Hara starred in five films together, but it was their roles in The Quiet Man that they are best remembered.

The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

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