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Contae na Gaillimhe
Irish: Ceart agus Cóir
"Righteousness and Justice"
|Region||Northern and Western|
|• Local authorities||County Council and City Council|
|• Dáil constituency|
|• EP constituency||Midlands–North-West|
|• Total||6,151 km2 (2,375 sq mi)|
|729 m (2,392 ft)|
|• Density||45/km2 (120/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC±0 (WET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (IST)|
|Eircode routing keys|
F31, H53, H54, H62, H65, H71, H91 (primarily)
|Telephone area codes||090, 091, 093, 099 (primarily)|
|ISO 3166 code||IE-G|
County Galway (// GAWL-way; Irish: Contae na Gaillimhe) is a county in Ireland. It is in the Northern and Western Region, taking up the south of the province of Connacht. The county population was 276,451 at the 2022 census.
There are several Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county. The traditional county includes the city of Galway, but the city and county are separate local government areas, administered by the local authorities of Galway City Council in the urban area and Galway County Council in the rest of the county.
The first inhabitants in the Galway area arrived around the 5th millennium BC. 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. The region known as Connemara retains a distinct identity within the county, though its boundaries are unclear, and it may account for as much as one third, or as little as 20%, of the county.
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:
Nearly 20% of the population of County Galway live in areas classed as Gaeltachts (Irish-speaking districts). County Galway is home to the largest Gaeltacht Irish-speaking region in Ireland. There are over 48,000 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 (parts of the city), Gaeltacht Cois Fharraige, Conamara Theas, Aran Islands, and Duiche Sheoigheach (a part of the northern Galway region known as "Joyce Country" and Maam Valley).
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. Clifden 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.
According to Census 2016, 84,249 people in County Galway claimed they could speak Irish. According to Census 2011, the Galway city and county Gaeltacht has a population of 48,907, of which 30,978 said they could speak Irish; 23,788 classed themselves 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 the Galway Gaeltacht. According to the Irish Census 2016, there are 9,445 people in the county who identify themselves as being daily Irish speakers outside the education system.
Local government and politics
Galway City Council and Galway County Council are the local authorities for the respective local government areas. The local government area of County Galway includes some suburbs of the city not within the city area. Each local authority is responsible for certain local services such as sanitation, planning and development, libraries, the collection of motor taxation, local roads and social housing.
Under the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, County Galway was divided into the urban districts of Ballinasloe and Galway, and the rural districts of Ballinasloe No. 1, Clifden, Galway, Glennamaddy, Gort, Loughrea, Mount Bellew, Oughterard, Portumna, and Tuam. Loughrea, within the rural district of Loughrea, and Tuam, within the rural district of Tuam, had town commissioners. The rural districts were abolished in 1925.
In 1937, the urban district of Galway became the borough of Galway, remaining part of County Galway. In 1986, the borough of Galway became the county borough of Galway and ceased to part of County Galway. In 2002, all county boroughs were redefined as cities.
The county is part of three Dáil constituencies: Galway East (3 seats), Galway West (5 seats) and Roscommon–Galway (5 seats). It is part of the Midlands–North-West constituency for European elections.
County Galway is home to 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.
County Galway is partly home to a number of Ireland's largest lakes including Lough Corrib (the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland), Lough Derg and Lough Mask. The county is also home to a large number of smaller lakes, many of which are in the Connemara region. These include Lough Anaserd, Ardderry Lough, Aughrusbeg Lough, Ballycuirke Lough, Ballynahinch Lake, Lough Bofin, Lough Cutra, Derryclare Lough, Lough Fee, Glendollagh Lough, Lough Glenicmurrin, Lough Inagh, Kylemore Lough, Lettercraffroe Lough, Maumeen Lough, Lough Nafooey, Lough Rea, Ross Lake and Lough Shindilla.
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.
Largest settlements in County Galway (2022 Census)
- Galway, 85,910
- Tuam, 9,647
- Ballinasloe, 6,597
- Loughrea, 6,322
- Oranmore, 5,819
- Athenry, 4,603
- Gort, 2,870
- Bearna, 2,336
- Moycullen, 2,279
- Oughterard, 1,846
According to numbers published by Galway Chamber of Commerce in early 2019, there were then 196 information and communications technology (ICT) organisations in Galway, including IBM, SAP, Oracle and Cisco. There is a number of medical device companies in the area, including Medtronic (with approximately 1,800 employees) and Boston Scientific (2,800 employees).
Gaelic games are the most popular sport in the county. Galway had traditional regions in which Gaelic football or hurling is played. For example, in south and eastern County Galway, in places such as Portumna, Gort, Clarinbridge and Athenry, hurling is the dominant sport with successful teams at county and national level. Most of the rest of the county is considered to be footballing territory, with most of the county players being from the Tuam area, Oughterard, Moycullen or parts of Galway city.
Connacht Rugby, which competes in the United Rugby Championship, is based in the Sportsgrounds in Galway city. The two main amateur rugby clubs in the county are Galway Corinthians RFC and Galwegians RFC which compete in the All-Ireland League.
- Joe Canning (born 1988), hurler
- Davy Carton (born 1959), member of The Saw Doctors
- Aaron Connolly (Irish footballer) (born 2000), professional footballer
- Nicola Coughlan (born 1987), actress
- Mike Denver (born 1980), country singer
- Maura Derrane (born 1970), journalist and TV presenter
- Pádraic Joyce (born 1977), Gaelic footballer
- Dolores Keane (born 1953), folk singer
- Seán Keane (singer) (born 1961), folk singer
- Leo Moran (born 1964), member of The Saw Doctors
- Brendan Murray (born 1996), singer
- Mícheál Ó Cellaigh (fl. 1875), Irish scribe
- Tomás Ó Reaftaraigh (fl. 1899), Irish scribe
- Gráinne Seoige (born 1973), journalist
- Síle Seoige (born 1979), TV presenter
- Connacht Irish
- Galway GAA
- List of monastic houses in Ireland (County Galway)
- Joyce Country
- Lord Lieutenant of Galway
- High Sheriff of County Galway
- High Sheriff of Galway Town
- Western Railway Corridor
- Wild Atlantic Way
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- "The Topography of Medieval and Early Modern Galway City";
- "From Warlords to Landlords: Political and Social Change in Galway 1540–1640";
- "Religion and the Laity in Early Modern Galway";
- "The Transfer of Power: Galway 1642–1703";
- "The Politics of Protestant ascendency: County Galway 1650–1832";
- "Landlords and Land Usage in Eighteenth Century Galway";
- "The Galway Tribes as Landowners and Gentry
- "The Response of the Poor Law to the Great Famine in County Galway
- "The Encumbered Estates Court and Galway Property 1849–58
- "Bishop John MacEvilly and the Catholic Church in Late Nineteenth Century Galway
- "Minor Famines and Relief in Galway, 1815–1925"
- "From Connacht to North America: State Aided Emigration from County Galway in the 1880s"
- "Trade Unionism in County Galway, 1898–1914"
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