In a book written by Oscar Wilde's father, Sir
William Wilde, in 1867 on Lough Corrib he sums up his homeland
as a unique and special location.
"The Annals of Cong, which if all collected, would
almost form a history of Ireland, might commence with the
Battle of Moytura, stated by the bards to have been fought
in the year of the world 3303. Cong, in Irish Cùnga
and also Cùnga-Feìchìn in remembrance
of its patron saint, is an island."
There is water everywhere, gliding in by the
broad river, gushing from the surrounding rock and appearing
and disappearing wherever its wayward nature wills. The village,
approached by four bridges, occupies a small hill and consisted
in 1861 of 88 houses and 469 inhabitants. About two miles
east of Cong, overlooking one of the most scenic sections
of Lough Corrib stands Moytura House, the one time residence
of Sir William and Lady Wilde. Together, the Wilde's were
two brilliant and individualistic people. Sir William was
a distinguished eye and ear specialist who became Surgeon-Oculist
to Queen Victoria before he reached the age of forty years.
He was also a renowned archaeologist and it was during his
time at Moytura House that Wilde put pen to paper and wrote
"Wilde's Loch Corrib". Today the book is considered
to one of the best books to be ever written on the topography
Lady Wilde was a supporter of the Young Ireland Movement and
subsequently wrote for "The Nation", the paper produced
by the organisation. It was in Dublin that their illustrious
son, Oscar Wilde, was born. However the young aspiring playwright
and poet spent much of his initial years at Moytura House.
Long after the family upped and departed the region, Oscar
ritually returned to visit his native home in the west of
Ireland. It was in the midst of one such visit that Oscar
Wilde wrote to a friend, "I am sure you will like this
wild mountainous country, close to the Atlantic and teeming
with sport of all kinds. It is every way magnificent and makes
me years younger than actual history records".