County Galway

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"Galway County" redirects here. For the UK Parliament constituency, see Galway County (UK Parliament constituency).
County Galway
Contae na Gaillimhe
Coat of arms of County Galway
Coat of arms
Motto: Ceart agus Cóir  (Irish)
"Righteousness and Justice"
Location in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Country Ireland
Province Connacht
Dáil Éireann Galway East
Galway West
EU Parliament Midlands–North-West
County town Galway
Government
 • Type County Council
Area
 • Total 6,148 km2 (2,374 sq mi)
Area rank 2nd
Population (2011) 250,541
(175,127 excl. Galway City)
 • Rank 5th
Vehicle index
mark code
G
Website www.galway.ie

County Galway (Irish: Contae na Gaillimhe) is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West Region and is also part of the province of Connacht. It is named after the city of Galway. Galway County Council is the local authority for the county. There are several strongly Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county. The population of the county is 250,541 according to the 2011 census.[1]

History[edit]

Dunguaire Castle, built c. 1520

The first inhabitants in the Galway area arrived over 7000 years ago. Shell middens indicate the existence of people as early as 5000 BC.

The county originally comprised several kingdoms and territories which predate the formation of the county. These kingdoms included Aidhne, Uí Maine, Maigh Seóla, Conmhaícne Mara, Soghain and Máenmaige. County Galway became an official entity around 1569 AD. In modern times, a number of inhabited islands are also administered by the county; these include Oileáin Árann (Aran Islands) and Inis Bó Fine (Inishbofin).

With the arrival of Christianity many monasteries were built in the county. Monasteries kept written records of events in the area and of its people. These were followed by a number of law-tracts, genealogies, annals and miscellaneous accounts. Extant manuscripts containing references to Galway include:

Irish language[edit]

Nearly 20% of the population of County Galway live in the Gaeltacht (Gaelic-speaking districts). County Galway is home to the largest Gaeltacht Irish-speaking region in Ireland. There are over 48,907 people living within this region which extends from Galway city westwards through Connemara. The region consists of the following Irish speaking areas; Galway City Gaeltacht, Gaeltacht Cois Fharraige, Conamara Theas, Aran Islands and Duiche Sheoigheach.

All schools within the Gaeltacht use the Irish language for classroom instruction. There is also a third-level constituent college of NUIG called Acadamh na hOllscolaíochta Gaeilge in Carraroe and Carna. Spiddal is the largest town in the region. Galway city is also home to Ireland's only Irish-language theatre Taibhdhearc na Gaillimhe. There is a strong Irish-language media presence in this area too, which boasts the radio station Raidió na Gaeltachta and Foinse newspaper in Carraroe and national TV station TG4 in Baile na hAbhann. The Aran Islands are also part of the Galway Gaeltacht.

Galway County Hall, Galway City.

There are about 30,000 - 40,000 Irish speakers in County Galway. According to Census 2011, the Galway city and county Gaeltacht has a population of 48,907, of which 30,978 say they can speak Irish, 23,788 can be classed as native Irish speakers while 7,190 speak Irish daily only within the classroom. There are 3,006 attending the ten Gaelscoil (Irish language primary schools) and three Gaelcholáiste (Irish language secondary schools) outside of the Galway Gaeltacht.[2] According to the Irish Census 2006 there are 10,788 in the county who identify themselves as being daily Irish speakers outside of the education system.

Local government and politics[edit]

Prior to the enactment of the Local Government Act 2001, the county was a unified whole despite the presence of two local authorities.[citation needed] Since that time, the administrative re-organisation has reduced the geographical extent of the county by the extent of the area under the jurisdiction of Galway City Council. Today, the geographic extent of the county is limited to the area under the jurisdiction of Galway County Council. Each local authority ranks equally as first level local administrative units of the NUTS 3 West Region for Eurostat purposes. There are 34 LAU 1 entities in the Republic of Ireland. The remit of Galway County Council includes some suburbs of the city not within the remit of Galway City Council. Both local authorities are responsible for certain local services such as sanitation, planning and development, libraries, the collection of motor taxation, local roads and social housing.

The county is part of the North–West constituency for the purposes of European elections. For elections to Dáil Éireann, the county is part of two constituencies: Galway East and Galway West. Together they return 9 deputies (TDs) to the Dáil.

Geography[edit]

A view over the karst landscape on Inishmore, from Dún Aengus, an ancient stone fort.

County Galway is home to Lough Corrib (the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland) the Na Beanna Beola (Twelve Bens) mountain range, Na Sléibhte Mhám Toirc (the Maum Turk mountains), and the low mountains of Sliabh Echtghe (Slieve Aughty). The highest point in the county is one of the Twelve Bens, Benbaun, at 729m.

Climate[edit]

The location of County Galway, situated on the west coast of Ireland, allows it to be directly influenced by the Gulf Stream. Temperature extremes are rare and short lived, though inland areas, particularly east of the Corrib, can boast some of the highest recorded temperatures of the summer in the island of Ireland (sometimes exceeding 30 °C); though these temperatures only occur when land warmed east winds sweep the area; the opposite effect can occur in the winter. Overall, however, Galway is influenced mainly by Atlantic airstreams which bring ample rainfall in between the fleeting sunshine. Rainfall occurs in every month of the year, though the late autumn and winter months can be particularly wet as Atlantic cyclonic activity increases and passes over and around the area, and which is why Galway tends to bear the brunt of severe windstorms that can occur between August and March. The county on average receives about 1300mm of rainfall annually, though some areas along the west coast of the county can receive up to 1900mm and beyond. Extreme weather such as blizzards, thunderstorms, flash flooding and hail, though rare, can and do occur, particularly when air masses of continental origin are undercut by more humid and unstable Atlantic flows.

Flora and fauna[edit]

One of the least densely populated counties, County Galway harbors a variety of wildlife. The region's biodiversity is best represented by Connemara National Park, situated in the west of the county.

Largest Settlements in County Galway (2011 Census)[edit]

  1. Galway, 76,778
  2. Tuam, 8,242
  3. Ballinasloe, 6,659
  4. Loughrea, 5,062
  5. Oranmore, 4,799

Towns and villages[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Census 2006 - Population of each province, county and city
  2. ^ "Oideachas Trí Mheán na Gaeilge in Éirinn sa Ghalltacht 2010-2011" (in Irish). gaelscoileanna.ie. 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2012. 
  3. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy March 14, 1865.
  4. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  5. ^ http://www.histpop.org
  6. ^ NISRA - Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (c) 2013. Nisranew.nisra.gov.uk (2010-09-27). Retrieved on 2013-07-23.
  7. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 
  8. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850". The Economic History Review 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. 
  • History of Galway, James Hardiman, 1820
  • Education in the Diocese of Kilmachduagh in the nineteenth century, Sr. Mary de Lourdes Fahy, Convent of Mercy, Gort, 1972
  • The Anglo-Normans and their castles in County Galway, Patrick Holland, pp. 1–26, in Galway:History and Society, 1996. ISBN 0-906602-75-0
  • From Warlords to Landlords: Political and Social Change in Galway 1540-1640, Bernadette Cunningham, pp. 97–130, op.cit.
  • The Politics of the 'Protestant Ascendency': County Galway 1650-1832, James Kelly, pp. 229–270, op.cit.
  • The Galway Tribes as Landowners and Gentry, Patrick Melville, pp. 319–370, op.cit.
  • Scríobhaithe Lámhscríbhinní Gaeilge i nGaillimh 1700-1900, William Mahon, pp. 623–250, op.cit.
  • Early Eccleiastical Settlement Names of County Galway, Dónall Mac Giolla Easpaig, pp. 795–816, op. cit

External links[edit]



Coordinates: 53°20′N 9°00′W / 53.333°N 9.000°W / 53.333; -9.000