Original ‘The Quiet Man’ short story turns 80

Did you know that the John Ford film was based on a short story written by a Kerryman? Now the original manuscript of the story is on display in Listowel.

The film is well known around the world for its depiction of love and life in Ireland – and not least for starring Hollywood greats John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara – but some may not realise that the Quiet Man was a short story before it became a movie.

It was written by Kerry author Maurice Walsh (1879-1964) 80 years ago, and was included in his short story collection Green Rushes.

The Quiet Man was first published in the Saturday Evening Post in the United States on 11 February 1933. This was where the American film director John Ford first read it – and the rest, as they say, is cinema history. He secured the film rights shortly after reading it, but it was 1952 before his famous film was released.


Now people will be given the opportunity to see the manuscript of that first short story as its 80th anniversary is celebrated, thanks to the Seanchaí Kerry Writers Museum in Listowel, which will host items lent to it by the University of Limerick Glucksman Library.

The original drafts of the iconic story are among the items in the exhibition, which will run until St Patrick’s Day.


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