by Aoife O'Flynn
‘Ireland is a jewel of a country and the bedrock of the world’
John Huston lived in an estate in Craughwell Co. Galway called St.Clerans. He was searching for a place where he could find himself and at the same time be surrounded by beauty and peace. For him this was St.Clerans. He lived in this house for over twenty years even managing to gain Irish citizenship in 1964. When in St.Clerans Huston played host to many famous celebrity visitors such as Marlon Brando, Cary Grant, Peter O’Toole and Ava Gardner.
Living in Ireland Huston was a great addition to the arts, especially in relation to the film industry. His presence in Ireland created a great stir in the film industry and was of great financial benefit to the people as his films would often be a source of jobs in the local community. Huston, while here, made a huge effort to produce and film many of his movies in the Irish countryside; most notably Moby Dick (1956) and The Mackintosh Man (1973). Huston was thought so much of here that he was asked to chair a committee that would provide a report in relation to the Irish Film Industry. This report, with its many recommendations, is only one of the many pieces of material available in the Huston archive housed in the James Hardiman Library.
When Huston first stepped on Irish soil he immediately felt at home and when he had to leave his ‘haven’ of St.Clerans (for both health and financial reasons) he felt a part of his soul had been left behind too.
Huston outside St Clerans