5. GRACE KELLY WAS THE DAUGHTER OF A MAYO MAN
Although people know her either as Princess Grace of Monaco, or from Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window, Dial M For Murder, or To Catch A Thief, Grace Kelly was also a regular visitor to Mayo. Her father, John Peter Kelly, was born in Drimurla, near Newport in Co. Mayo and moved to Philadelphia in 1887. At the height of her fame, Grace Kelly returned to Drimurla on three separate occasions - 1961, 1976 and 1979 - and bought the family house there with the intention of turning it into a holiday home. Sadly, that never materialised as Kelly died in a car crash in 1982.
4. JIM SHERIDAN'S THE FIELD WAS FILMED IN MAYO
In fact, the pivotal scene where The Bull McCabe, played by Richard Harris, battles Tom Berenger's American interloper was shot at the Ashleigh Falls in Co. Mayo, with the rest of the filming taking place along the Mayo / Galway border.
3. DANIEL DAY-LEWIS' FATHER WAS A REGULAR VISITOR TO OLD HEAD
Although Cecil Day-Lewis was born in what's now Ballintubbert, Co. Laois, the famed poet brought his son Daniel Day-Lewis to Old Head in Co. Mayo regularly when he was a child. In a New Yorker article from 1992, Day-Lewis talked about his time on the beach, where his sister took part in a horse race there. "One year, Tamasin rode in the race, and one year I fell in love with a girl from the town on a beautiful chestnut horse, with her black hair flying."
2. MEL GIBSON'S GREAT GRANDFATHER WAS FROM WESTPORT
Although Mel Gibson is more associated with Ardagh, Co. Longford through his mother, the famed actor / director also has links with Co. Mayo, specifically Westport. Gibson's paternal great-grandfather was Patrick Mylott, who originally came from Westport and immigrated to Australia in the 1800s, settling in Tuross Head, a seaside village in New South Wales. Not only that, Gibson also stayed in Mayo's famous Ashford Castle on a number of occasions and there's even a framed photo of him in the hotel as well.
1. THE QUIET MAN, OBVIOUSLY
Well, you can't really talk about films and Mayo without talking about The Quiet Man. John Ford's 1952 romantic dramedy saw John Wayne - who claimed ancestry from Mayo as well - set up shop in the fictitious town of Inisfree, which was in reality the village of Cong. The film was, at the time considered a risky venture for both John Ford and John Wayne, as both were known for making Westerns. Not only that, The Quiet Man is unique in that it's one of the few films about Ireland made by a major studio that actually features the Irish language in dialogue. Sure, it might be a bit cheesy and it's dated in how it views Ireland and Mayo, but it's a classic and considered as one of John Wayne and John Ford's greatest collaborations.
To celebrate the arrival of Ireland’s Fastest Broadband Network to Castlebar one of the most iconic films of all time, Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction is being screened at the Virgin Media Full Stream Outdoor Cinema on Friday 22nd of September. Tickets are free but you’ll need to register as tickets are limited.