Irish village plans its own Hollywood walk of fame

Tourism chiefs in a Co Mayo village have unveiled ambitious plans to lure thousands of film fans by creating Ireland’s answer to Hollywood’s walk of fame.

Organisers of the upcoming Cong Festival are pulling out all the stops to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the release of The Quiet Man, the iconic movie which was filmed there.

As part of their celebrations later this month, they will announce details of what will be called the Cong Hands of Fame.

Cong’s Hollywood-style tribute will see some of the world’s top movie stars invited over to receive lifetime achievement awards, before being asked to leave a print of their hands, which in turn will be bronzed and then mounted at various locations in the village.

Pat Luskin, chairman of the Cong Festival 2012 Committee, said: “We’re looking at producing a trail of the handprints around the village and presenting those that take part with a lifetime achievement award.”

Irish-born A-listers like Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne, Colin Farrell and Michael Fassbender, are likely to be the prime targets of the fledgling project, which organisers believe could significantly boost visitor numbers.

But tourism chiefs want screen legend Maureen O’Hara — who was in Cong last year to attend the 60th anniversary celebrations of the filming of The Quiet Man — to be the first star honoured.

It’s understood the Glengarriff-based actress, who is just weeks away from her 92nd birthday and who has been caught up in a draining legal battle over her estate, is unlikely to be able to attend this month’s festival.

However, tourism bosses said once she was in a position to return to Cong, Ms O’Hara would be honoured by being the first star to have her hands immortalised.

Mr Luskin said: “We’d then look at other actors, for example Pierce Brosnan, who has a link as he got married here in Ashford Castle.”

* For more information see www.congfestival.com


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