Roscommon Town Heritage
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History & Heritage

The Cross of Cong

The inscription (in old Irish) on the cross includes requests for prayers for King Turlough O’Connor, for Murredach O’Duffy, Chief Senior Bishop of Connacht, for Flannacann O’Duffy, Abbot of Roscommon (expressed as ‘Comarba of Comain and Ciaran’) under whose superintendence the shrine was made, and lastly a prayer for MacBraddan O’Echan who made the Shrine.

At that time, a daughter house of Coman’s Abbey existed in the neighbourhood of Roscommon – at Cloonaraff – and its abbot was Maclisu MacBraddan O’Echan (or Egan). So the so-called  ‘Cross of |Cong’ is really the Cross of Roscommon and owes its new title to the fact that after many trials and vicissitudes, due to numberless persecutions and plunders, it was eventually found in safe keeping of the parish priest of Cong, Rev. Pat Presdergast, who in 1829, when ill and dying, disclosed the presence of the Cross in an oaken chest in his house and it eventually was procured for the Dublin Museum. In 1903, a faithful replica of the Cross was made in Dublin by the order of Dr. m. Cox, a Roscommon man, and was presented to the new Church of the Sacred Heart, Roscommon, on the day of its dedication, 18th June, 1903. So the famous reliquary has (by replica) ‘come home’ and may be seen and examined in Roscommon Church. Incidently, the Father Prendergast who gave the Cross to Dublin Museum was, in fact, the last known survivor of the Augustian Canons Regular in Cong.

Further Reading Sources:
Roscommon Association Yearbook 1984
  • Page 8: The Cross of Roscommon by C.J. Finn


Cross of Cong Article