Friday 28 July 2017

Galway locals raise €30k to save 'The Quiet Man' train station

Credit: Save the Quiet Man train station fundraising video / YouTube
Credit: Save the Quiet Man train station fundraising video / YouTube
Castletown train station. Credit: Save the Quiet Man train station fundraising video / YouTube
A scene from The Quiet Man. Credit: Save the Quiet Man train station fundraising video / YouTube

Daniel O'Connor

Locals from Ballyglunin, Co. Galway have successfully raised over €30,000 to restore the train station famously featured in the classic 1952 film The Quiet Man.

The train station prominently featured in the Oscar winning film starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara and attracts hundreds of visitors to the small east Galway town, but has been recently in danger of closing due to much needed restoration work needed.

A scene from The Quiet Man. Credit: Save the Quiet Man train station fundraising video / YouTube
A scene from The Quiet Man. Credit: Save the Quiet Man train station fundraising video / YouTube

However, the Ballyglunin Railway Restoration Project decided after years of hard work to set up an online crowd-funding campaign to raise the €30,000 needed to carry out repairs, which has now been successful.

One of its organisers, Mark Gibson, spoke to Independent.ie about the success of the campaign and what it means to the town of Ballyglunin.

“We’ve lots of emotions running at the moment. We’re thrilled to have hit our target within the timeframe,” Mark said.

“With the crowd-funding campaign, it’s a very intense effort over a relatively short period of time so we’re pretty exhausted at the moment but we’re relieved that we actually have hit our target.”

Those involved in the project had expressed fears that if they didn’t raise enough money to repair the station’s roof by this summer, it may not have lasted the next winter season.

Funds had been raised locally throughout the last few years, but realised they needed a fresh approach to their efforts if they were to be successful.

“It was an international fundraising campaign. A lot of locals had donated over the years and we didn’t want to have be going back to them again,” Mark said.

“We knew there was a community out there between ‘Quiet Man’ fans and emigrants who had emigrated through the station that we could reach out to.”

Castletown train station. Credit: Save the Quiet Man train station fundraising video / YouTube
Castletown train station. Credit: Save the Quiet Man train station fundraising video / YouTube

As of today, over €32,000 has been raised from patrons around the world, from places such as the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

The station’s restoration, along with the development of a new motorway that will pass by Ballyglunin between Tuam and Gort, is hoped to attract more tourism activity to the small town.

Mark explained that there are already plans in place to enhance the tourist experience for those visiting the station.

“The first phase overall is to restore and repair the building. For example, the roof is in a very bad state at the moment. Hopefully that’ll be restored by the end of the summer,” Mark said.

“What we want to do is put an office in the building to have some community employment programme operating from the centre”

“We also want to put a café there and a heritage centre to have something to offer tourists when they arrive.

“We have a lot of tourists who already come from the station but we have nothing really to offer them at the moment.”

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