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Most likely sightingsPossible sightings
Connacht, or in Irish Cúige Chonnacht, encompasses the West of Ireland. The counties of Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Roscommon and Sligo make up this ancient province. Major towns are Galway City and Sligo. The rivers Moy, Shannon and Suck flow through Connacht and the highest point within the 661 square miles of the area is Mweelra (2,685 feet). The population is steadily growing - in 2006 it was counted at 503,083. Nearly half of these live in County Galway.
Today Connacht relies mainly on tourism and agriculture - Galway City being a notable exception with several high-tech-industries and a university.
What to do in Connacht:
Apart from the Sligo area the province has no attractions that are amongst the top ten sights of Ireland. There are, however, a number of interesting sights in Connacht - from the Aran Islands to the vibrant student community of Galway City. The village of Cong attracts fans of John Wayne and John Huston, the seminal movie "The Quiet Man" was shot here. Spending a full holiday in Connacht would be most rewarding for lovers of nature and a slow, old-fashioned pace of life.
The province of Connaught (Connacht) lies in the West of Ireland with its coastline on the Atlantic Ocean. The counties of Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim, Galway and Roscommon are within its boundary. Connaught is the least inhabited province in Ireland with a population of just over 400,000.
Historically, Connaught has retained its rich Gaelic heritage and today still has communities where the Irish language is spoken. These regions are collectively called the Gaeltacht. The remote Aran Islands off the mainland of County Galway are part of the Gaeltacht.
The primary business centre of Connaught, and most densely populated area, is the thriving city of Galway to the south of the province.
Connaught has some of the most beautiful and unspoilt countryside to be found in Ireland, including the spectacular mountainous landscape of Connemara.
Galway | Mayo | Roscommon
Centuries ago Cromwell ordered thousands of Irish people off their lands told them they could go to 'Hell or to Connacht'. Today, Connacht, which makes up the bulk of Ireland's Western region is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland, a byword in a kind of natural beauty that time seems to have passed by.
The weather-beaten Atlantic coast gives way to the quieter waters of Galway Bay, immortalised in songs innumerable. Coming into the bay one passes the Aran Islands where Irish is the spoken language and a warm reception the tradition. Nestled in the corner of the Bay is Galway City, known as the City of the Tribes, a vibrant University town with a dynamic nightlife bringing together the most popular music of today and the ancient traditions of Irish dance and song. Festivals, horse racing, pubs, restaurants, shops, theatres and most of all -Galway people, combine to create this atmospheric medieval city of culture.
North of Galway is Mayo, one of Ireland's most picturesque counties. A place of small towns and villages Mayo has 13 Blue Flag beaches, the ideal lodation for watersports such as swimming and surfing. Centuries ago this coastline was ravaged by the infamous Irish pirate Queen Granualie who terrorised English traders as far south as Portugal. Today the coast is a far quieter spot though as popular with sailors as it was all those centuries ago.
The Shannon runs along the border of the west on the eastern side separating the tranquility of the West from the more hectic pace of the cities and towns of the east. Cruises along the Shannon are increasingly popular and through the Shannon-Erne Waterway can take you across the county to the north of the isle.