Mary Kenny and The Quiet Man

Dear Editor, I usually enjoy reading Mary Kenny’s weekly column. I was, however, disappointed to read her criticism of the classic film The Quiet Man (IC 10/10/13). She sounded a particularly discordant and sour note.

It is a little late in the day for her to reveal that the ‘archaic’ story was not politically correct in its treatment of women.

Mary wonders why she is alone in her objections. The reason is simple: there is absolutely nothing objectionable in either the story or the film.  The storyline is timeless and is as relevant today as it was in 1933. Sean Thornton (John Wayne), representing the new world of the US, challenges the old order in Ireland.

The dowry, a symbol of the old world, ended up in the fire. This is a victory for both Sean and Kate (Maureen O’Hara). This battle continues today. Girls from the east move to western countries and reject the tradition of arranged marriages.

The Quiet Man won two Oscars and was nominated for a total of seven. It has brought pleasure to millions of people and has been a major boost for the economy in the area where it was made. When I last visited Cong I met young Americans who had found out about the film from their parents and grandparents. I wish we had more films like it.

I hope the good people of Cong will continue to enjoy the spin-offs from the famous Oscar winner of which they are so proud. I can only imagine what Michaleen Oge (Barry Fitzgerald) would have made of Mary’s views. He would have needed to recover in Cohan’s pub with his favourite drink (minus the water!).

Yours etc.,

Michael Clarke,


Co. Down