The Joyce Country Mountain
and Lake District incorporates the communities of Maam, Corr
na Mona, Clonbur, Cloghbrack, Finney, Tourmakeady, Cong,
Cross and The Neale.
The area is called "Joyce Country" after the colony of
who came to live in the barony of Ross. Thomas Joyce
emigrated to Ireland from Wales at the beginning of the 14th
century and settled here. His son married an
thus the Joyce clan took control of the whole barony of
Excellence appears to be the great challenge to the Joyces.
The Joyce motto exhibits this life long desire: "Mors aut
honorabilis vita"-"Death before dishonour".
The family name Joyce has
both ancient Irish and Norman antecedents. It comes from a
Brehon penal name. The Brehon name Iodoc is a diminutive of
iudh, which means lord. It was adopted by the Normans in the
form Josse. The first Norman bearer of the name in Ireland
was Thomas de Joise, a Welsh Norman who settled in Connacht
on the borders of counties Galway and Mayo toward the end of
the 12th century. The name may also have been derived from
the Norman personal name Joie, which means joy.
The continuation of the Joyce name in the west of Ireland
can be seen to this day in the area of Connemara known as
Joyce's Country. Many people with the name still live there,
and Renvyle House, now a luxury hotel, was once a Joyce
stronghold. The most famous Joyce is, of course, James
Joyce, born in Dublin in 1882, who died in Zurich in 1941.
He is widely acclaimed as the leading writer in the English
language in the 20th century.
The Joyce name has been deeply embedded in Connacht since
they arrived there by sea in the wake of the Norman
invaders. Joyce comes from the French personal name Joy.
They quickly intermarried with strong local families like
the O'Briens, Princes of Thomond.
A huge clan, they owned vast territory in the Barony of Ross
(County Galway), known today as Joyce's Country, and were
admitted into the '14 Tribes of Galway'. There were Joyce
bishops and crusaders to the Holy Land. One who was captured
en route was shown buried treasure by an eagle. When he
escaped with this wealth he used it to build the walls of