Galway


Galway
/gawl"way/, n.
1. a county in S Connaught, in W Republic of Ireland. 171,836; 2293 sq. mi. (5940 sq. km).
2. its county seat: a seaport in the W part. 37,714.

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County (pop., 2002 prelim.: 208,826), Connacht province, western Ireland.

It is bounded to the west by the Atlantic Ocean. Its seat, the town of Galway (pop., 2002 prelim.: 65,774), is at the head of Galway Bay. The descendants of the followers of the Norman Richard de Burgh, who assumed rule in the area in the 1230s, became known as the tribes of Galway. After 1652 the land settlement of Oliver Cromwell established a new class of landed proprietors. Galway is still largely an agricultural region, though it also has light industry, such as cotton spinning and sugar refining. It has the largest Irish-speaking population of any Irish county.

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Irish  Gaillimh 

      seaport and county town (seat) of County Galway, western Ireland, located on the northern shore of Galway Bay.

      After the building of the city's walls by Anglo-Norman settlers (c. 1270), Galway developed as a commercial centre and had considerable trade with Spain. Following English conquest, power within the city was distributed to 14 families of English lineage—the so-called “Tribes of Galway”—leading Galway to be called the “City of the Tribes.” The charter of incorporation given by Richard II (reigned 1377–99) was extended in 1545 to give the port jurisdiction over the Aran Islands, located 20 miles (30 km) southwest; it permitted export of all goods except linens and woolens. The town and land within a 2-mile (3-km) radius were established as a county by charter in the reign of James I (1603–25). The town was captured by parliamentary forces during the English Civil Wars (1642–51) and again during the campaigns of William III.

      The chief exports are wool, agricultural produce, marble, china, and various metals. Leading manufactures include ironwork, computers, electric motors, medical instruments, and sports equipment. Tourism is also an important source of income. A shipping service connects Galway with the Aran Islands. There are remains of a Franciscan friary (founded 1296), and Galway is the seat of a Roman Catholic diocese. St. Nicholas's Church dates from 1320. University College, founded in 1849 as Queen's College, received a new charter in 1908 as a college of the National University of Ireland. The city has several theatres, including the world-renowned Druid Theatre and An Taibhdhearc, Ireland's first Gaelic theatre. The city also hosts the annual Galway Arts Festival and oyster and horse-racing festivals. During the late 20th century, Galway was among the fastest growing cities in Europe. Pop. (2002) 65,832.

Irish  Gaillimh 
  county in the province of Connaught (Connacht), western Ireland. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean (west) and by Counties Mayo (north), Roscommon (north and east), Offaly (east), Tipperary (southeast), and Clare (south). The eastern two-thirds of Galway is part of the Irish central lowland. In the west is Connemara, mainly a lowland, with peat bogs, many lakes, heathlands, and uplands such as the Twelve Bens and the Maumturk Mountains, with many summits higher than 2,000 feet (600 metres).

 Galway has the largest Gaelic-speaking population of any Irish county, and the Irish college at Spiddal has facilities for those wishing to study Gaelic. About one-third of the county's people live in villages and towns, which, apart from the city of Galway, are small. There are a county council and a county manager; administratively independent, Galway city is a county borough and has a city manager.

 The living conditions in Connemara are among the hardest in Ireland. Many people live on small farms in a coastal belt about one mile wide. In the east, areas of cultivable soil are used for crops or for the rich pastures that often develop in this area of high rainfall. Sheep are kept in large numbers. Rough woodlands, patches of rocky heath, and peat bogs create gaps in the pattern of agricultural settlement. Only a few short streams flow over much of the lowland, but there are numerous shallow depressions called turloughs that provide good pastures in dry periods. Galway produces a black marble and a green-streaked Connemara marble of great beauty. The county also has light industry.

 The descendants of the followers of the Norman Richard de Burgh, who assumed rule of Connaught in the 1230s, became known as the tribes of Galway. The county was given its shire boundaries in the reign of Elizabeth I. After 1652 the land settlement of Oliver Cromwell (Cromwell, Oliver) established a new class of landed proprietors. Area excluding Galway county borough, 2,354 square miles (6,098 square km). Pop. (2002) excluding Galway county borough, 143,245; (2006) excluding Galway county borough, 159,256.
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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