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Discover Mayo


This pretty town is best known for its role in the John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara movie, The Quiet Man, but its real star is the 12th century Augustinian monastery, a site of worship and learning until King Henry VIII dissolved all monasteries.  

One easily imagines a procession of psalm-chanting monks winding past the ornate stone carvings of the Market Cross with their beautiful Cross of Cong, a gold, bronze and crystal ceremonial crucifix now held in the National Museum.  

On the banks of the Cong River beside a centuries-old yew grove is the Monk’s Fishing House, with a hole in the floor where the monks were able to catch fish for the abbey kitchens while staying indoors. Across the river is the Cong Forest Nature Trail in the monks’ woodland, which was enhanced with redwoods, giant sequoia and Monterey pine by Arthur Guinness (Lord Ardilaun) in the mid-19th century when he owned nearby Ashford Castle

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