Cong Tourist Attractions
The village of Cong (Cunga Feichin, "Isthmus of Feichin") lies in the far west of Ireland, on the isthmus between Lough Mask and Lough Corrib (good fishing in both loughs), to the north of Galway Bay and close to the boundary between the counties of Mayo and Galway. The last High King of Ireland, Roderick O'Conor, died in Cong in 1198, after 15 years spent in monastic seclusion.
At the entrance to the village are the ruins of Cong Abbey (National Monument), an Augustinian house. Only fragments of the church remain, but a finely sculptured doorway and a number of capitals in the cloister are striking examples of Irish Romanesque art.The processional Cross of Cong, made for King Turlough O'Conor about 1123, is now in the National Museum in Dublin. In the main street of the village is a 14th C. stone market cross, with inscriptions.
Quiet Man Heritage Cottage
Lough Mask and Lough Corrib are linked by underground streams flowing beneath the isthmus which divides them.
Lough Mask House
6mi/10km south of Ballinrobe, on a by-road running towards the east side of Lough Mask, is Lough Mask House, surrounded by its park. In the last quarter of the 19th C. this was the residence of Captain Charles Boycott (1832-97), the agent of an English landlord, who treated his Irish tenants so badly that on a certain day in the year 1880 they resolved to have nothing more to do with him or to sell him their produce. Workers had thereupon to be brought in from the northern counties to gather in the potato harvest, under military protection, so that the crop was quite unprofitable. This form of passive resistance compelled Boycott to retreat to England, having given a new word to the language.
In the limestone rock of the Lough Mask area are numerous caves. Pigeon Hole is among the most interesting of the caves. Like Kelly's Cave, it is easily accessible.
In the limestone rock of the Lough Mask area there are numerous caves, the most interesting of which are Kelly's Cave (National Monument), which is thought to have been a Bronze Age burial place. The cave is readily accessible; the key for it is kept in Cong.
To the west of the Lough Mask area, beyond the isthmus, extends Joyce's Country, a hilly region traversed by green valleys and lonely roads which takes its name from a Welsh family who settled here in the 13th C.
For a rewarding round trip in the Cong area, with a harmonious mingling of hill, valley and river scenery, take the road which runs west from Cong via Clonbur to Lough Nafooey, with views of the Partry Mountains, and then, crossing a saddle into the valley of the River Joyce, continue on the L101 round the western tip of Lough Corrib, and so back to Cong.