Sunday 21 January 2018

Director's 'Quiet Man' chair to be centre stage in museum

John with his wife, Thelma Mansfield, and the chair
John with his wife, Thelma Mansfield, and the chair

Brian McDonald

THE most famous director's chair in Irish cinematic history is to go on public display.

Legendary film-maker John Ford used the chair in the production of the iconic movie 'The Quiet Man' in Connemara, Co Galway, in 1951.

Ford worked with the late Lord Killanin on a number of projects in the 1950s and 1960s and the chair ended up in the Killanin family home in Spiddal.

Now, Lord Killanin's son, John Morris, and his wife, Thelma Mansfield -- a former RTE TV presenter -- have donated the chair to Galway City Museum.


It is one of a number of pieces of memorabilia the family has given to the museum for the next two years, and the pieces will go on display this summer.

"I have had a lot of stuff belonging to John Ford in the house for a while and my children didn't want me to hand over the director's chair," Mr Morris said

Mr Morris was born around the time John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara joined a movie crew headed by John Ford for the shooting of 'The Quiet Man' in Cong and Maam.

Movie buffs regard it as the greatest film ever shot in this country, and it secured Ford an Oscar for Best Director.

The documentation officer with Galway City Museum, Helen Bermingham, said the museum greatly appreciated the donation of the chair and other items.

"John has previously generously donated a number of other objects related to John Ford, including a cinemascope viewer with Ford's name engraved on it and a pair of Richard Nixon's cufflinks, which were presented to Ford," Ms Bermingham said.

Irish Independent

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