AN iconic movie that helped put the West of Ireland on the tourism trail for millions of visitors will be recalled at an auction in County Mayo at the weekend.
Two pieces of bronze sculpture by Mark Rode of legendary actor, John Wayne are to be sold on Sunday, as part of the auction of furniture and memorabilia from Ashford Castle.
In one, Wayne’s image is that of the character of Sean Thornton in The Quiet Man, along with his co-star, Maureen O’Hara, who played the fiery Mary Kate Danaher.
The 1952 John Ford classic movie was filmed around Cong in County Mayo and it is at the Old Sawmills that the auction will be conducted on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 10.30am on both days. There will be viewing on Friday.
In 2013, a bronze statue of Sean Thornton and Mary Kate Danaher, created by Mark Rode, was erected in the village of Cong to celebrate the enduring appeal of the film.
Sculptor Mark Rode, who has a studio and foundry in Killasser, County Mayo, trained in Australia before moving to Ireland in 2001. He specialises in bronze figurative sculpture and public commissions include the Titanic Memorial at Addergoole, the Tour de France statue in Enniscorthy and the Kerry GAA football statue in Tralee.
A scaled-down replica of The Quiet Man statue cast in bronze that was used during the creation of the original statue is one of the lots. The maquette measures 46cm high, 40cm wide and 165cm deep and only eight of these replicas have been cast.
The second is a bust of Sean Thornton cast in bronze and mounted on a base of bog oak. The bust, also cast from the original mould, is greater than life size and measures 65cm high, 42cm wide and 35cm deep.
According to auctioneer, Aidan Foley there should be big interest in the John Wayne pieces, with some bids likely to come from US collectors. These two special pieces will be auctioned on Sunday.
Money from the sale of the busts will go towards the work of the Cong Festival Committee.