Belfast Telegraph

Cash bid to save Quiet Man railway station may run out of steam

By Nick Bramhill

A campaign to save the iconic railway station which featured in The Quiet Man could be derailed tomorrow unless urgently-needed funds are secured.

Campaigners have until noon to reach their €30,000 (£26,240) crowdfunding target to restore Ballyglunin station to its former glory.

But with less than €24,000 (£20,992) raised to date, fundraising chiefs face a race against time to plug the remaining €6,000-plus shortfall.

If they fail to reach their target by tomorrow's deadline, strict crowdfunding rules dictate that all funds will have to be returned.

Leaders of the community-led project admitted that would spell disaster for their hopes of renovating the abandoned Co Galway station, which featured in the opening scene of the 1952 John Ford classic, starring Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne.

Campaign spokesman Mark Gibson said: "We are still quietly confident we can reach the €30,000 target by Tuesday, but we really need some generous donors to come forward.

"In recent days we received an anonymous donation of €5,000, which really helped us out.

"We could really do with another gesture like that," Mr Gibson added.

The ambitious project to renovate the so-called Quiet Man station - which closed in 1976 after more than a century of service - has been backed by Ballymena-born Hollywood A-lister Liam Neeson and Irish actor Gabriel Byrne.

Gibson insists there's no reason that the small village of Ballyglunin - where the station is based - couldn't emulate the success of Cong, Co Mayo, which has been attracting thousands of film fans from across the globe in the decades since the enduring movie was shot there.

However, he said the immediate priority is to save the station's crumbling roof from imminent collapse.

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