Campaigners to save the iconic station from the movie ‘The Quiet Man’ have reached their fundraising target in the nick of time.
It means that they will be able to start working to stop the station falling any further into disrepair and ultimately renovate it and turn it into a tourist attraction.
The station, in Ballyglunin was featured as ‘Castletown’ station in Maureen O’Hara and John Wayne’s classic 1952 movie.
It closed in 1976 and has fallen a long way from its former glory over the decades.
The fundraising campaign was supported by Irish Hollywood stars Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne. It aimed to raise €30,000 to repair the roof, which was most in need of repair.
Thanks to locals in Co Galway, and donations made from around the world, the target has been met and work can begin.
Mark Gibson, one of the campaign organisers, told the Irish Independent: “We’ve lots of emotions running at the moment. We’re thrilled to have hit our target within the timeframe.
“With the crowd-funding campaign, it’s a very intense effort over a relatively short period of time so we’re pretty exhausted at the moment but we’re relieved that we actually have hit our target.”
He laid out his plans for the station, which he hopes will help Ballyglunin to emulate the tourism success of Cong, where a lot of the movie was also shot.
“The first phase overall is to restore and repair the building. For example, the roof is in a very bad state at the moment. Hopefully that’ll be restored by the end of the summer
“What we want to do is put an office in the building to have some community employment programme operating from the centre.
“We also want to put a café there and a heritage centre to have something to offer tourists when they arrive.
“We have a lot of tourists who already come from the station but we have nothing really to offer them at the moment.”
Written by Michael Kehoe @michaelcalling