West Region, Ireland

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The West region of Ireland, with each constituent county/city council highlighted

The West Region (coded IE013) is a NUTS Level III statistical region of Ireland. It consists of the territory of the city of Galway and the counties of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. The West region spans 13,801 km² (20% of the total area of the state) and has a population of 380,057 (8% of the state's total).

Prior to 2014, the region was governed by the West Regional Assembly. Statutory instrument No. 573/2014 abolished that assembly.[1][2] Since that date, the association between Regional Assemblies and NUTS regions has ceased. The NUTS regions are used for statistical reporting to Eurostat, while the Regional Assemblies are responsible for planning at a local government level.

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.[citation needed] It is noted for its continuance of Irish traditions, such as the Irish language in the region's Gaeltacht areas.[3]

Former Regional Authority[edit]

The West Region was administered by the West Regional Authority, which consisted of 28 elected representatives including the region's representative on the European Union Committee of the Regions. These representatives met once a month and were nominated from the four administrative councils of the region:[3]

The Regional Authorities were dissolved in 2014 and were replaced by Regional Assemblies.[4]

Demographics[edit]

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.

Economy[edit]

According to Eurostat figures for 2012, the region has GDP of €13.802 bn and a GDP per capita of €31,500.[5]

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.[3]

Transport[edit]

There is an international airport in the region – Ireland West Airport Knock, and Shannon Airport is 50km south of the region – both of which are served by flights to the United Kingdom, and continental Europe. Mainline rail services operate from both Galway and Mayo to Dublin.[3] The M6 motorway, connecting Galway to Dublin, was completed in 2009.[6]

The Western Railway Corridor has yet to be fully reopened for passenger and goods trains.

Urban areas[edit]

A list of the largest urban areas in the West Region. County capitals are shown in bold.

Rank Town County Population
(2011 census)
1 Galway Galway 76,778
2 Castlebar Mayo 12,318
3 Ballina Mayo 11,086
4 Tuam Galway 8,242
5 Ballinasloe Galway 7,674
8 Roscommon Roscommon 5,693
6 Westport Mayo 5,543
7 Loughrea Galway 5,057
9 Oranmore Galway 4,799
12 Claremorris Mayo 3,979
10 Athenry Galway 3,950
11 Castlerea Roscommon 3,055
13 Ballyhaunis Mayo 3,008

References[edit]