Nice touch...Cong to unveil Hands of Fame wall

Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh is pictured after giving an impression of her hands which will feature on the Hands of Fame, in Cong village. Also pictured were sculptor of The Quiet Man Statue Mark Rode, with Cong Festival committee members Sharon Naughton and Paddy Rock. Photo:Trish Forde.

Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh is pictured after giving an impression of her hands which will feature on the Hands of Fame, in Cong village. Also pictured were sculptor of The Quiet Man Statue Mark Rode, with Cong Festival committee members Sharon Naughton and Paddy Rock. Photo:Trish Forde.

Rose of Tralee Maria Walsh and RTÉ presenter Ryan Tubridy are to be immortalized in Cong. Or their hands are at any rate. 

The celebrities' hand prints are being cast in bronze and they are to be officially unveiled as the first two inductees into Cong's novel Hands of Fame Wall.

Organisers have dubbed the honour a CHOFA (Cong Hands of Fame Award ). 

The Hands of Fame Wall is to be Mayo's own version of Hollywood's famous Walk of Fame, where some of the world's most famous movie stars, entertainers, and filmmakers have been honoured with their own 'star' along a stretch of pavement over two kilometres long. 

It is envisioned that a different national or international celebrity will be named as a CHOFA recipient each year and their hand prints will be displayed in Cong on the Hands of Fame Wall.

The wall was originally supposed to launch last October but the event was cancelled due to a local bereavement.

Next month, Mr Tubridy and Ms Walsh are expected to attend the rescheduled official unveiling ceremony, provisionally booked for July 19. 

Paddy Rock is a member of the Cong Festival Committee, which is leading the Hands of Fame Wall project.

He said he believed the project has the potential to become yet another top visitor attraction in scenic Cong. 

"I think it will draw quite a few visitors," he said. "It is something that can keep on growing every year and people will be able to look forward to seeing who the latest recipient is when they visit."

Cong already has strong links with Hollywood.

Screen classic The Quiet Man was filmed in the village in 1951.

Since then, a string of Hollywood stars, including Brad Pitt, Pierce Brosnan and Princess Grace, have also visited Cong when they stayed at the luxury hotel Ashford Castle.

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