MOVES are gathering pace totwin Cong, with the town of Winterset, Iowa, in the United States, where John Wayne was born.
The proposal is understood to have met with the approval of screen legend Maureen O’Hara who considered Wayne, whose nickname was ‘Duke’, her best friend.
She starred in a number of other movies with Duke’ including McLintock (1963), Rio Grande (1950) and The Wings of Eagles (1957), but The Quiet Man, shot here in 1952, was her favourite collaboration.
A special committee has been set up in Cong to erect a life-size statue of Wayne in the village and have it in place for celebrations to mark The Gathering in October.
Also, following approaches from civic leaders in Wayne’s birthplace, Winterset, where there is a John Wayne museum, there are plans for a formal twinning between the two locations.
Councillor Damian Ryan has a motion down for discussion at the Claremorris electoral area meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) asking Mayo County Council to make future financial provisions for the twinning. “Such links would boost tourism and cultural
links in south Mayo,” according to Councillor Ryan.
O’Hara and her family will be in Winterset later this month (May 24 and 25) for the annual John Wayne birthday celebrations and, in a public farewell to her legions of fans, will discuss her lifelong friendship with the iconic film star.