Posts from grumpy in thread „Save the Quiet Man Cottage“

    Oh, absolutely the sharks are circling. The rhetoric is escalating into quite a nasty tone, all of which appears to steadfastly avoid the apparent complete disinterest during the decades during which the property decayed prior to Mr Ebbitts purchase. Next, I expect to hear stories of an angry mob carrying torches storming up the path leading towards the castle. <Oops, wrong movie...or is it ?>

    It may well be that under Irish law they can lay claim to the property and thus obtain it "without cost", but I guarantee they will not be able to restore it for free, nor manage, promote and operate it for free, nor do the ongoing maintenance for free.

    Someone is going to have to find or raise a significant amount of money to power this effort, and then a lot of hard work will need to be done over a good chunk of time.

    Mobs will be hard to find when these two items need to be handled !

    Good conversation gentlemen.

    As anyone of you have tried to get some construction work done 100 miles away, two states away or on the opposite coast can attest, it can be a bit tedious dealing with contractors. Add in an ocean, another nation and cultural differences and I can imagine the possible frustration. In the corporate world I have been in the same room as someone and been ready to lunge across the table at people displaying their active disinterest in a project on which they assigned and were allegedly working. LOL

    Has anyone read Peter Mayles book 'A year in Provence' ? In it, he details, among other things, his efforts at buying and restoring a small farmhouse in Provence and recounts dealing with local masons and repair folks. Ah, but Ireland is not France, you might say. True, its not.

    I would not, however, under-estimate how much the pride of the locals figures in here. It probably chafes them that after all this, an American owns the cottage and wants to tell them what to do with it. In many ways "Quiet Man" was as much about Ireland and Irish culture as it was about the American John Wayne. In fact, the two cultures good-naturedly bouncing off each other is woven through-out. I can see that it represents an Irish point of pride, despite the fact that no one stepped up to buy the cottage but Mr Ebbitt. If you squint a little, and change the movie script, it could be about an American who buys a cottage and attempts to get it fixed up and the "help" he gets along the way.

    And I don't think I'm talking out of school to say that the famed Irish stubbornness is not Urban Legend, I have first-hand exposure to that fiery trait. My wifes father was born in Ireland, as was my grandmother. My mother was born in Scotland, so I admit perhaps just a wee bit of stubbornness myself. My wife, in fact is in Dublin as we speak on a business trip - sadly not much time to tour, although she did get to visit her fathers hometown of Rathnagrew.

    I think that interests and differences aside, one very real issue is the fact that Mr Ebbitt does not live nearby or apparently have a local representative that can oversee the restoration and later on, the management of the property. My opinion is that needs to be addressed to achieve the restoration- regardless of ownership, and absolutely needs to be in place to operate the completed project. Even if it remains totally private and not open to tour, etc. even a hearty structure will need maintenance and looking after.

    I do not see how this effort will be successful without strong local support and involvement. Its not going to take a message board, or a Facebook group, but people talking and working face-to-face with people to get things done. I'm certainly not being critical of Mr Ebbitt as he has taken more action than anyone else to secure the cottage property. But whats needed is a real course of action to put together an implementable plan given the circumstances.

    • What is the goal and how will we determine when we have met it?
    • Who are the stakeholders and what are their priorities ?
    • How do we build a detailed plan ?
    • What skills/ resources do I need ?
    • What are the risks and issues that need tending ?
    • What funding is required and when ?
    • How long will it take ?
    • How will we manage the effort ?
    • etc.

    As to the fragmentation of support for achieving a stated common goal:

    "It is truly amazing what can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit."

    A few random-ish thoughts On the topic of the present owner and his actions:

    I have seen similar situations develop where the will of private ownership appears to be in conflict with some public sentiment or "call for preservation" that desires different handling of a property than what the legal owner originally intended. To be fair, I do not know whether the present land-owner came into possession through inheritance of family holdings or outright purchase, recent or not.

    Regardless, one cannot help but think that anyone thrust into a situation where organized groups of people not actually invested in ownership of property attempt to dictate or suggest how that property should be managed is going to feel a bit reluctant to give up control and even resent the intrusion of "outsiders".

    My opinion is that the Irish government ( whether national or local I have no bias) should offer to purchase the property and its environs and create a small park ( aka tourist destination). Clearly they are aware of its heritage and importance as a film location, but more importantly the film popularized Irish culture to world movie audiences ( certainly Americans ) in such a way that few films have then - or since. Economically, this has been a very valuable resource for the Irish people.

    Should ownership of the cottage and property in question remain private, perhaps the best course to preserve and protect the site would be to fashion a private tour experience/ lease that includes the cottage site where a fee is paid by the tour operators for ongoing upkeep , insurance and maintenance.

    The family who rightfully own this property need to be either made whole, have their concerns and needs protected, or otherwise be made to feel welcome in this discussion or it will go no-where.

    As Duke would say, they own it fair and square. If we're gonna strike some kind of bargain, we need to make sure its good for all involved. A rising tide lifts all boats- so, what's it take to make most everybody happy here ?