When Knox wrote his book in 1908, Ireland was on the cusp of revolutionary changes that brought about transformation of the democratic drive for Home Rule into a violent uprising against British rule between 1916 and 1922. A Civil War followed from 1922 to 1923 between rival republican forces. In the new Irish Free State and Irish Republic , County Mayo remained economically deprived compared to the rest of the country and experienced decades of continued mass emigration.
General remarks are made in the section on Tuam Diocese, in which is included also the period of St. Patrick and his companions. The sections on the other Dioceses contain what is peculiar to them. The Monastic Houses are taken together according to their orders as they were not a part of the ordinary Diocesan organisation, and are most conveniently dealt with as a whole. It has been impossible for me to compare all my copies with the original
documents relating to their possessions, but I have done so as far as I could, in order to get the most satisfactory reading of place-names.