IMG 9384

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

IMG 3254

We will be registering everyone is Ryans Hotel from 10am on the morning.  Ryans Hotel also encompasses the Crowes Nest bar which is where the huddle will be.  We will be using a self contained section/alcove of the bar area so there will be some noise as the day goes on.  There is WIFI available and we will also have a proejctor in this area.  We are hoping to organise a post #cong14 reception either here or in the community centre.  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

IMG 3260

Danaghers Hotel had a bar area and a separate restaurant area.  We will be using the separate restaurant area to the right as you enter.  Regular dining tables and chairs provided along with a projector.  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.

More contact details see here.

Pat Cohan’s

IMG 3286

This is a new venue and has undergone major renovation since last year.  Expect to cluster around regular bar/dining tables with projector and good wifi.  Lunch is served here so if your huddle finishes here at lunch time stay put.  The food is really excellent here and evening dinner although more expensive is worth the treat.  Booking in advance is advised.  Ray and Sharon are the owners and our hosts for the day.

Telephone: (094) 9545620

See more Twitter.

Rare and Recent Book Store.

IMG 3285

Rare and Recent Books have moved premises since last year but were a very welcoming host and a interesting venue.  This will be a cramped venue surrounded by books but this is part of the unconference experience of jolting our of normal experiences.  Robert Scott is the owner and is a fascinating character.  We will have chairs and possibly a projector but expect your personal space to be invaded.  Lunch will not be served here and I will direct you to one of the other venues. Wifi will be available here and Robert probably knows more about it than anyone in the village.

See more on the Rare and Recent website.

The Quiet Cailin

IMG 3258

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

IMG 3261

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.


IMG 3253

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.

IMG 9376
© Eoin Kennedy 2017 eoin at congregation dot ie