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OIDHREACHT NA COIRIBE

Location

Cong (Cúnga Fheichín or Saint Feichin’s Narrows) is located on the isthmus between Loughs Corrib and Mask. It is actually situated on an island formed by a number of streams that surround it on all sides. According to the 2011 census, the population is 178 although it far exceeds this during the tourist season. According to the figures given in an Irish Tourist Association Survey in 1945 there were approximately 200 people living there.

Cong is famous for amongst other things, Ashford Castle, the High Cross of Cong and Cong Abbey, The Quiet Man film, Oscar Wilde and the many caves in teh surroudnign area.

For an overview of historic and contemporary Cong, click here.

Click here to read an enlightening account of Cong and the surrounding areas in late 1861 and early 1862 by Henry Coulter in “The West of Ireland - its existing condition and prospects”.

Cross of Cong

Cong is one of the most beautiful villages in the West of Ireland. It was once a great school of learning serving as a resort for students and was an important place for metal work artificers. The Cross of Cong was produced in the 12th  Century on the orders of Turlough O'Conor and enshrined a fragment of the True Cross. It may now be viewed at the National Museum of Ireland.

Irish Tourist Association Topographical and General Survey

A survey conducted in 1945, by Conor O'Brien called the 'Irish Tourist Association Topographical and General Survey' (hereafter this will be referred to as the 'ITATGS') made the following comments about Cong (source: Mayo County Library website):

'The village of Cong presents an appearance that is at once unprepossessing and disordered though quite unnecessarily so. It is situate on an island formed by the various uprisings of the subterranean streams connecting Lochs Mask and Corrib but this fact, whilst, perhaps limiting the scope for clearance and building should enhance rather than mar the aspect of the place'.

For further information on this document, see relevant links.

Ancient Holy Churches

According to Fr. Neary in his publication entitled 'Notes on Cong and the Neale' written in 1938, "Cong and the Neale are remarkable for ten old churches erected here from the 6th to the 18th century: Teampuill Phadraig, Teampuill-na-neeve, Killarsagh, Cross-East, Kilmolara, Ballinchalla, Kilfrauchaun, Inishmaine, Cong and Cahernacole". According to Fr. Neary Danish invaders in 835 and 925 caused their demise along with combined Irish and Anglo-Irish forces in 1204 as well as "other frequent attacks".

Cong Abbey

An interesting account about the establishment by St Fechin of Cong Abbey (around 627 AD) is to be found in the 1908 book written by John Healy (former Archbishop of Tuam) entitled 'Irish Essays: Literary and Historical' under the chapter 'Two Royal Abbeys on the Western Lakes (Cong and Inishmaine)'. Archbishop Healy gave this lecture in the Town Hall in Tuam on 29th December 1904. To read more see relevant links.

The following is an excerpt from the essay:

"The centre of the primitive monastery was a small church or oratory—in the West it was generally built of stone, because stone there abounded. Around it were grouped the little cells of wood, or wattles, or stone, in which the abbot dwelt with his monks—not, of course, together, but in twos and threes. Their food was roots, fish, or a little corn—sown, reaped, and ground by their own hands".

Historic House

Killeens' residence (beside the school house at Cong) was a teacher's house where many of the 1916 Rising Patriots used to gather prior to the uprising. Click here to read more as recorded in the Irish Tourist Association Topographical and General Survey of 1945 and which is sourced from Mayo County Library's website.

WEBSITES AND DOCUMENTS OF INTEREST

Ashford Castle - Click here to view the document produced for the Irish Tourist Association Topographical and General Survey (1945) by Conor O'Brien and edited by Michael J. Hynes.

The Quiet Man Cottage Museum, Cong Co. Mayo. Click here.

Trailer for the documentary film entitled 'John Ford:Dreaming the Quiet Man'. Click here.

High Cross of Cong. Click here for more information.

A Saints and Stones website contains some very interesting information about Cong Abbey and St. Feichin the Abbot-founder of this monastery in 624 AD [a different source states that the founder was Domnall, son of Aedh and nephew of Amirach (king of Ireland) after which time St. Feichin was in charge at some stage, The site contains links to other websites on this topic and  relevant images. Click here to be redirected to this website.

Additional information

To search for additional information on townlands, inhabitants click here.


BOOKS AND PUBLICATIONS

Gwynn, Stephen (1914). The Fair Hills of Ireland. Published by Maunsel and Co. Ltd. Dublin and London. See the section on Cong. Click here.

Healy, John D.D.. (1908). Irish Essays: Literary and Historical (Chapter: Two Royal Abbeys on the Western Lakes (Cong and Inismaine). Click here for link.

Higgins, Patrick (1899). A brief sketch of the romantic life of George MacNamara of Cong Abbey. Ennis: Clare Journal.

Neary, Fr. John (1938). Notes on Cong and the Neale. 1875-1951 Buried at Cong Abbey. Click here to read family history.

Lovett, Richard. (1888). Irish Pictures Drawn with Pen and Pencil. (in particular see Chapter 7: Connaught & Chapter 1: The cross of Cong). Click here.

Lewis, Samuel (1837) A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland. (see 'Cong a post-town and parish'. click here). London.

Additional information on Townlands

Click here.


      Relevant Links


BUILT HERITAGE  - Towns and Villages - Cong