County Galway

County Galway (Irish: Contae na Gaillimhe) is a county in Ireland. It is located in the West of Ireland, part of the province of Connacht.

There are several Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county. The traditional county includes, and is named for, the city of Galway, but the city and county now have separate local authorities: Galway City Council administers the urban area, while the rest of the county is administered by Galway County Council.

The population of the county was 258,058 at the 2016 census.[1][2]

County Galway

Contae na Gaillimhe
Coat of arms of County Galway

Coat of arms
Ceart agus Cóir  (Irish)
"Righteousness and Justice"
Location in Ireland
Location in Ireland
Dáil ÉireannGalway East
Galway West
EU ParliamentMidlands–North-West
County townGalway
 • TypeCounty Council
 • Total6,149 km2 (2,374 sq mi)
Area rank2nd
 • Total258,058
 • Rank5th
 • Density42/km2 (110/sq mi)
Vehicle index
mark code


Galway 1, Ireland
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.[3] The region known as Connemara retains a distinct identity within the county, though its boundaries are unclear, and so it may account for as much as one third, or as little as 20%, of the county.

The county includes a number of inhabited islands, such as the 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:

  • Leabhar na nGenealach
  • Cuimre na nGenealach
  • Obituary Book of the Franciscan monastery at Galway
  • Annals of the Poor Clares
  • Dominican Annal of Athenry
  • Ogygia: A Chronological Account of Irish Events
  • West or Iar-Connacht
  • The Lynch Manuscript

Irish language

Nearly 20% of the population of County Galway live in the Gaeltacht (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.

Galway County Hall - Áras Chontae na Gaillimhe - - 906462
Galway County Hall, Galway City.

According to Census 2016, there were 84,249 people in County Galway who could speak Irish.[4] 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 the Galway Gaeltacht.[5] 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.[4]

Local government and politics

Prior to the enactment of the Local Government Act 2001, the county was a unified whole for administrative purposes, despite the presence of two local authorities. 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 Midlands–North-West constituency for the purposes of European elections. For elections to Dáil Éireann, the county is part of three constituencies: Galway East, Galway West and Roscommon–Galway. Together they return 11 deputies (TDs) to the Dáil.


Dun Aonghasa
The prehistoric hill fort of Dún Aonghasa, Inishmore Island

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.

Flora and fauna

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 (2016 Census)

  1. Galway, 79,934
  2. Tuam, 8,767
  3. Ballinasloe,6,662
  4. Loughrea, 5,556
  5. Oranmore, 4,990
  6. Athenry, 4,445
  7. Gort, 2,994


The Irish fast food chain Supermac's, which also operates Irish Papa John's Pizza restaurants, has its head office in the Ballybrit Business Park in Ballybrit, County Galway.[6]


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 Tuam, Oughterard or parts of Galway city.

Galway United FC compete in the SSE Aitricity League of Ireland and plays home games in Eamonn Deacy Park.

Connacht Rugby competes in the Pro14 is based 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.

Athletics is also a very popular sport in Galway, a few clubs being; Galway City Harriers, Craughwell Athletic Club, Athenry A.C, Tuam A.C, Loughrea A.C and many others.

Towns and villages

Historical population

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: County Galway City". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: County Galway County". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Retrieved 21 October 2018.
  3. ^ Mannion, Joseph (2012). "Elizabethan County Galway: The Origin and Evolution of an Administrative Unit of Tudor Local Government". Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society. 64: 64–89. JSTOR 24612855.
  4. ^ a b "Census of Population 2016 - Profile 10 Education, Skills and the Irish Language". Central Statistics Office. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  5. ^ "Oideachas Trí Mheán na Gaeilge in Éirinn sa Ghalltacht 2010-2011" (PDF) (in Irish). 2011. Retrieved 9 January 2012.
  6. ^ "Supermac’s HQ." Supermac's. Retrieved on 17 November 2017. "SUPERMAC’S HEAD OFFICE, Ballybrit Business Park, Ballybrit, Galway"
  7. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy 14 March 1865.
  8. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  9. ^ Archived 7 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ NISRA - Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (c) 2013 Archived 17 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. (27 September 2010). Retrieved on 23 July 2013.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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.

Select Bibliography

  • 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
  • "On the Corporation Books of Galway", Trench, W.F. & Lawson, T.D., Journal of the Galway Archaeological and Historical Society Vol. 1, 1900–1901, no. 2.
  • "The Lurgan canoe", Costello, T.B, JGAHS Vol. 2, 1902, no. 1.
  • Blake Family Records, vol. 1, Martin J. Blake.
  • "Portrait of Sir Valentine Blake of Menlough, 3rd Baronet (1608–1652)", anon, JGAHS Vol. 3, 1903–1904, no. 3.
  • "Will of Geoffrey French of Galway, A.D. 1528", Martin J. Blake, JGAHS Vol. 4, 1905 –1906, no. 4.
  • "A De Burgo silver chalice, A.D. 1494: with notes on the family of Bourke of Turlough, Co. Mayo; drawing & text."JGAHS Vol. 5, 1907–1908, no. 4.
  • Old Galway", Maureen Donovan-O'Sullivan, 1942.
  • "The Anglo-Normans in Co. Galway: the process of colonization", Patrick Holland, JGAHS Vol. 41, 1987-88.
  • Galway: History and Society, ed. Gerard Moran and Raymond Gillespie, Geography Publications, Dublin, 1996, ISBN 0-906602-75-0

(selections below)

    • "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"
    • "Scríobhaithe Lámhscribhínni Gaeilge I nGallimh"
    • "The Galway Gaeltacht, 1926-81: a Sociolinguistic Study of Continuity and Change"
  • A town tormented by the sea: Galway 1790-1914, John Cunningham, 2004.
  • The Ploughman on the Pound Note, Eugene Duggan, 2004.
  • Land and Revolution" - Nationalist Politics in the West of Ireland 1891 - 1921, Fergus Campbell, 2005.
  • "The de Berminghams, Barons of Athenry", Paul Mohr, JGAHS Vol. 63, 2011.
  • Clár Amhrán Mhaigh Cuilinn, Ciarán Ó Con Cheanainn, 2011.
  • He Who Dared and Died" - The Life and Death of an SAS Original, Sergeant Chris O'Dowd MM, Gearóid O'Dowd, 2011
  • The case of the Craughwell Prisoners during the Land War in Co. Galway, 1879–85, Pat Finnegan, 2012
  • Loughrea, that den of infamy: The Land War in County Galway, 1879–82, Pat Finnegan, 2014.
  • East Galway agrarian agitation and the burning of Ballydugan House, 1922, Anne O'Riordan, 2015.
  • Rebellion in Galway - Easter Rising 1916 Kevin Jordan, 2016.
  • The Tribes of Galway: 1124-1642, Adrian Martyn, 2016.
  • He was Galway:Máirtín Mór McDonogh, 1860–1934, Jackie Uí Chionna, 2016.

External links

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


Connemara (Irish: Conamara; pronounced [ˈkʊnˠəmˠəɾˠə]) is a cultural region in County Galway, Ireland. The area has a strong association with traditional Irish culture and contains a major part of the Connacht Irish-speaking Gaeltacht, which is a key part of the identity of the region and is the largest Gaeltacht in the country.

Lord Lieutenant of Galway

This is a list of people who have held the post of Lord Lieutenant of County Galway.

There were lieutenants of counties in Ireland until the reign of James II, when they were renamed governors. The office of Lord Lieutenant was recreated on 23 August 1831 and was abolished in 1922, when Galway ceased to be part of the United Kingdom.

N65 road (Ireland)

The N65 road is a national secondary road in Ireland. It links the N52 at Borrisokane, County Tipperary to the M6 north of Loughrea in County Galway.

En route it crosses the Portumna bridge over the River Shannon.

The road is 52.517 km (32.633 mi) long.

N66 road (Ireland)

The N66 road was a national secondary road in Ireland. It linked the M18 at Gort, County Galway to the N65 outside Loughrea. The N65 continues north and forms an interchange with the M6. The road lied entirely within County Galway.

En route it passed Thoor Ballylee, associated with William Butler Yeats.

The road was 27.655 km (17.184 mi) long.

It was downgraded as regional road R380 upon the completion of the M17/M18 scheme in September 2017.

N84 road (Ireland)

The N84 road is a national secondary road in Ireland. It is a major route in the West connecting Galway city with Castlebar. The route is of poor quality with a few short good sections in County Mayo between Ballintubber and Ballinrobe. Ballinrobe has become a bottleneck on the route in recent years with up to 8,000 vehicles passing through the town's one-way streets. A bypass for the town is in the planning.

R327 road (Ireland)

The R327 road is a regional road in Ireland connecting the N60 east of Claremorris, County Mayo, to the R360 in County Galway. The official description of the R327 from the Roads Act 1993 (Classification of Regional Roads) Order 2006 reads:

R327: Cuilmore, County Mayo - Pollremon, County GalwayBetween its junction with N60 at Cuilmore in the county of Mayo and its junction with R360 at Pollremon in the county of Galway via Tulrohaun and Lugboy Cross in the county of Mayo: Culnacleha Bridge at the boundary between the county of Mayo and the county of Roscommon: Cloonfad in the county of Roscommon: and Kildaree in the county of Galway.The road is 20 km (12 mi) long (map of the road).

R333 road (Ireland)

The R333 road is a regional road in Ireland connecting the N83 southwest of Tuam, County Galway, to the N84 in Headford, County Galway.

R334 road (Ireland)

The R334 road is a regional road in south County Mayo and north County Galway in Ireland. It connects the N84 road at Ballinrobe to the N84 road again at Headford, 20.8 kilometres (12.9 mi) to the south (map). It passes to the east of Lough Mask and Lough Corrib.

The government legislation that defines the R334, the Roads Act 1993 (Classification of Regional Roads) Order 2012 (Statutory Instrument 54 of 2012), provides the following official description:

R334: Ballinrobe — Neale, County Mayo — Headford, County GalwayBetween its junction with N84 at Bowgate Street at Ballinrobe in the county of Mayo and its junction with N84 at Main Street Headford in the county of Galway via Neale, Lecarrowkilleen, Cross, Dowagh East and Glencorrib in the county of Mayo: and Moyne Bridge at the boundary between the county of Mayo and the county of Galway.

R335 road (Ireland)

The R335 road is a regional road in counties Mayo and Galway in Ireland. It starts in Westport, Co. Mayo and ends in Leenaun, Co. Galway. The N59 is a much more direct route between the two towns. The R335 passes through Murrisk (where Croagh Patrick is located), Lecanvey, Louisburgh and Delphi before terminating in Leenaun. It is considered one of the most scenic drives in counties Mayo and Galway. It is approximately 52 Kilometres long with a speed limit of 80km/h (50mph).

R341 road (Ireland)

The R341 road is a regional road in Ireland. It is a loop road from the N59 road in County Galway. South of the R342, the road is part of the Wild Atlantic Way.

R345 road (Ireland)

The R345 road is a regional road in north County Galway and southwest County Mayo in Ireland. It connects the R336 road at Maum to the R334 road at Neale, 26.4 kilometres (16.4 mi) to the east (map). It crosses the winding border between the two counties a number of times.

The government legislation that defines the R345, the Roads Act 1993 (Classification of Regional Roads) Order 2012 (Statutory Instrument 54 of 2012), provides the following official description:

R345: An Mám, County Galway — Neale, County MayoBetween its junction with R336 at An Mám in the county of Galway and its junction with R334 at Lecarrowkilleen in the county of Mayo via Corr na Móna, Dúráithe and An Fhairche in the county of Galway: Ballykine Lower in the county of Mayo: Bréandroim in the county of Galway: Main Street (and via Abbey Street and Circular Road) at Cong; Gortaroe and Nymphsfield in the county of Mayo.

R348 road (Ireland)

The R348 road is a regional road in Ireland stretching east-west for 51 km along a route north of the R446. It leaves the R446 east of Oranmore and rejoins it in Ballinasloe. The full length of the lies within County Galway.

En route it passes through the southern end of Athenry and several small villages.

R359 road (Ireland)

The R359 road is a regional road in Ireland stretching north-south for 16 km between Mountbellew and Woodlawn in County Galway.

En route it passes through Castleblakeney and Ballymacward.

R360 road (Ireland)

The R360 road is a regional road in County Galway, Ireland. Southeast to northwest the route connects the town of Dunmore to Ballymoe.

The road is in Northwest County Galway and is 22 km (14 mi) long.

R364 road (Ireland)

The R364 road is a regional road in County Galway, Ireland connecting Moylough on the N63 to near Ballymoe on the N60.

The official definition of the R364 from the Roads Act 1993 (Classification of Regional Roads) Order 2006 states:

R364: Moylough - Ballymoe, County GalwayBetween its junction with N63 at Moylough and its junction with R360 at Knockogonnell via Annaghmore West, Kilkerrin, Glenamaddy, Classaghroe and Ballyglass South all in the county of Galway.

R372 road (Ireland)

The R372 road is a short regional road in Ireland, located in southern County Galway.

R374 road (Ireland)

The R374 road is a regional road in County Galway, Ireland.

The official description of the R374 from the Roads Act 1993 (Classification of Regional Roads) Order 2006 reads:

R374: Casla - Lettermullen, County GalwayBetween its junction with R343 at Doire an Fhéich and its terminal point at its junction with local road 5234 at Leitir Mealláin Post Office via An Cheathrú Thair, Droichead Bhéal an Daingin, Leitir Móir, Droichead Charraig an Logáin, Tír an Fhia and Kiggaul Bridge all in the county of Galway.

R460 road (Ireland)

The R460 road is a regional road in Ireland, located in County Clare and County Galway.

Regional road (Ireland)

A regional road (Irish: bóthar réigiúnach) in Ireland is a class of road not forming a major route (such as a national primary road or national secondary road), but nevertheless forming a link in the national route network. There are over 11,600 kilometres of regional roads. Regional roads are numbered with three-digit route numbers, prefixed by "R" (e.g. R105).

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