Fintan O’Toole: ‘Rural Ireland’ has been romanticised up to its neck

Piety about rural values never did anything to stop the receding tide of depopulation

John Wayne (left), Maureen O’Hara, Sean McClory and Charles Fitzsimons on the set of 'The Quiet Man', directed by John Ford, circa 1952 in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

John Wayne (left), Maureen O’Hara, Sean McClory and Charles Fitzsimons on the set of 'The Quiet Man', directed by John Ford, circa 1952 in Los Angeles, California. Photograph: Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

In a series of articles, The Irish Times explores five challenges facing rural Ireland – diversity and migrationpovertyrapid growthpost-recession recovery; and depopulation – and ways to overcome them.

Nobody looks to John Ford’s classic 1952 movie The Quiet Man for a realistic portrait of rural Ireland.

The Irish Times
Please subscribe or sign in to continue reading.
The Irish Times

How can I keep reading?

You’ve reached an article that is only available to Irish Times subscribers.

Subscribe today and get the full picture for just €1 for the first month.

Subscribe No obligation, cancel any time.