“George Macnemara of Cong. Folklore and Facts. 1722-1760” is a fascinating and very readable account of the life of one of the most celebrated characters in the history of Cong. The work is the culmination of many years of research by local historian and archivist Brigid Clesham.
George, a Catholic gentleman from County Clare, leased the Cong Abbey estate during the 18th century and is celebrated in local folklore as the highwayman of Cong. But his real life is just as complex and fascinating as that of the folk hero that was created during the 19th century. Drawing on documents and archives from around the world Brigid has meticulously reconstructed the life of a Catholic middleman during the Penal era.
Hero or villain? Outlaw or philanthropist? Brigid has written a detailed account of the life of George Macnemara which contributes substantially to our knowledge of the history of Cong during the 18th century and illustrates life under the Penal Laws in the West of Ireland. The book is highly recommended to all interested in the history of the period and the West of Ireland particularly Cong and the surrounding area.
George Macnemara of Cong. Folklore and Facts. 1722-1760. Brigid Clesham. Mayo Historic Estates. Cong. 2020. 9781916366701