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About Cong

Cong is a small village in Co Mayo made famous as the location for the Quiet Man and home to Ashford Castle.

The village itself is self contained and experienced in dealing with transient groups and tourism.  There are 3/4 coffee shops, 4 bars, 1 exhibition area and one tourist centre, all within a few hundred meters of each other.  Within walking distance of the village is Ashford Castle and Lisloughrey House.   

Cong also offers unique opportunities for people to break away after the sessions and enjoy a quick walk through the woods.  Sports enthusiasts can also avail of the many running and sporting trails.


The idea behind Congregation is to use these social venues rather than auditorium type rooms.  Attendees decide how they wish to present on the day from formal powerpoint, roundtable chat to show and tell.  As all attendee have access to each speakers blog post before the event this offers a much richer opportunity to discuss and debate topics.   

The provisional venues are:

Crowes Nest/Ryan’s Hotel

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We will be registering everyone is Ryans Hotel from 9.30am on the morning.  Ryans Hotel also encompasses the Crowes Nest and the bar which is where the huddle will be.  We will be using a self contained section/alcove upstairs of the bar area so there will be some noise as the day goes on.  There is WIFI available.  We will finish here with a  a post #cong17 reception here.  Last year most people gravitated back here for drinks afterwards.  There is a sit down option in the restaurant or a good bar menu.  The last huddle stays here for their lunch.  Mike and Denis will be our hosts for the day.

See their website for more details.

Danagher's Hotel

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Danaghers Hotel has a bar area and a separate restaurant area.  We will be using the separate restaurant area to the right as you enter. or a private room to the rear.  Regular dining tables and chairs provided  Lunch will be served here so if your huddle finishes here stay put. Dinner options are available here.  Heleana will be our host of the day.  This is also the location for the Harmonica Blues workshop.

More contact details see here.

Elizabeth Toghers Photo Gallery

Elizabeth Toghers Gallery

This is a new venue and is a lovey open and bright space.  You will be clustered around chairs in the middle of the room.  There may be some drop in visitors during the course of the day but in general you will have the space to ourselves.  If you finish here at lunch head to Ryans for food.

See more Elizabeth Toghers Photography

Court House/Tourist Office

Courthouse:Tourist Office

This is a new venue and is the site of the old courthouse, which serves as the Tourist Office during the rest of the year.  It is a bright and airy location.  You will be clustered around chairs and will have the venue to our selves during the day although expect some stray tourists.

If finishing here at lunch time head to Hungry Monk.

Cong Art Gallery.

Cong Art Gallery

Functioning as the Cong Art Gallery until end Oct this is now an empty gallery.  You will be clustered around chairs and will need to use your imagination to picture the fantastic works of art that used to occupy the walls.  

We will this venue to ourselves all day.  If finishing here at lunchtime head to Ryans.

To see in its former glory see  Cong Art Gallery

The Quiet Cailin

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The Quiet Cailin is a creative crafts and gifts store with a difference. This is a new venue this year and it will be cramped.  Expect to be in close proximity to each other but surrounded by creative works and people.  It has very good wifi and will have a projector.  Michelle runs the Quiet Cailin.  Lunch will not be served here and I will direct you to one of the other venues.

See more on their website

Hungry Monk

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The Hungry Monk is a cafe come restaurant where I am frequently found.  Expect to be clustered  around tables and chairs.  WIFI is good but drops fast when everyone logs on.  The food is really excellent and Aisling and John are part of the slow food movement.  Lunch will provided here.  Officially closed for the season they are kindly opening up for us for the day.

See more on their Facebook page.


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Another new venue this year Puddleduck is a cafe with excellent food.  Its a lovely spacious and bright enviromnment and would not be out of place in Dublin. Being so open means that you will be clearly audiable by other patrons but that again is part of the unconference experience.  It should feel like you are in a social venue.  WIFI is good but can drop suddenly (reflective of most places in Cong).  A projector might be wasted here due to wall space and light.    Fiona is the wonderful owner.

See more on Facebook

Next: Find somewhere to stay in Cong.

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CongRegation © Eoin Kennedy 2017 eoin at congregation dot ie