West Region, Ireland
The West Region is a NUTS Level III region of Ireland and is governed by the West Regional Authority. It consists of the area under the jurisdiction of the county councils of counties Galway, Mayo and Roscommon, along with Galway City Council. The West region spans 13,801 km², 20% of the total area of the state and has a population of 380,057. The regional capital is Galway city. Its NUTS code is IE013.
The region is located on the western seaboard of Ireland with the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the River Shannon delimiting the region to the east. The West Region is largely rural, with only 30% of its population living in urban areas. It is noted for its continuance of Irish traditions, such as the Irish language which prevails in the region's Gaeltacht areas.
West Regional Authority
The West Region is administered by the West Regional Authority, which consists of 28 elected representatives including the region's representative on the European Union Committee of the Regions. These representatives meet once a month and are nominated from the four administrative councils of the region:
Like other Regional Authorities, the West Regional Authority is assisted in its duties by an Operational Committee and EU Operational Committee.
According to the 2006 census, the region had a population of 380,057, which constitutes 9.7% of the national population. Its population density was 27 persons per km². The population of the regional capital, Galway City, was 72,414.
Regional GDP in 2002 was €7.878bn, with GDP per capita at 70.5% of the state average, and 93.8% of the European Union average. The workforce of the region in 2003 was 188,900, which equated to a 95% employment rate with services (55.4%), industry (28.3%), and agriculture (11.2%) forming the key industries.
Tourism in the region is bolstered by its geography, with it attracting tourists from across Ireland and elsewhere, with inland rivers, lakes, mountains and plains, along with off shore islands, a large number of beaches, and its rugged coastline amongst natural attractions.
There are two international airports in the region – Ireland West Airport Knock and Galway Airport – both of which are served by flights to Dublin, the United Kingdom, and continental Europe. Mainline rail services operate from both Galway and County Mayo to Dublin. The M6 motorway, connecting Galway to Dublin, was completed in 2009.
A list of the largest urban areas in the West Region. County capitals are shown in bold.
- Irish Region Office - Regions of Ireland: West Region
- "Galway/Dublin motorway in operation". RTÉ News. 18 December 2009. Retrieved 17 September 2010.