Cong Abbey: Canons, Canonesses, Characters and Crosses is a weekend conference drawing on the expertise of archaeologists, art historians, archivists and historians to explore the rich heritage of Cong Abbey and Inishmaine Abbey. The conference is hosted by the Cong Moytura Heritage Society and will take place in the Crossroads Community Centre, Cong over the weekend of 19 to 21 August, 2022.
Cong Abbey is one of the best-preserved medieval monastic foundations in Ireland. Founded early in the twelfth-century by the O’Conor kings of Connacht for the Regular Canons of St Augustine as part of a wide-ranging reform of the Irish church, it remained the order’s Irish stronghold until the death of its last member, Abbot Patrick Prendergast, in 1829.
This weekend conference will explore the architectural, artistic, economic, pastoral and spiritual activities of both the Regular Canons and their female counterparts the Regular Canonesses, in Cong and its environs over a span of seven centuries. Building on recent research on the Augustinian Canons in Ireland, it will situate a much-loved local monument in its wider national and international context.