The West of Ireland here refers to the beautiful western parts of Co. Clare, Co. Galway and Co. Roscommon, plus all of Co. Mayo. The region has the highest proportion of Irish Gaelic speakers in the country.
Dubliners like to wax lyrical about “the Wesht“, never having had to eke out an existence on these windswept Atlantic shores and rocky fields. A Mayoman once wistfully observed that if scenery were money, he would be a millionaire.
The region is explored mainly by ByRoute 1 and the western stretches of , with Special Pages on Ennis & Beyond, The Burren, Galway City & Environs, Lough Corrib, Iar Connacht, Connemara & Joyce’s Country, The Western Islands, Westport & Environs, the Mayo Peninsulas.
All over the West of Ireland, turf (peat) is cut for use in heating homes during the long winter months. (Photo - mdsimpson)
Tim Robinson (b.1935), a Yorkshire-born cartographer and writer , has lived in the West of Ireland for many years, producing maps of the area (published by the imprint he and his wife Máiréad run from Roundstone) and highly praised studies and folklore compendia. His principal pyblications to date are:
Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage (The Lilliput Press, 1986)
Connemara: A One-Inch Map, with Introduction and Gazetteer (Folding Landscapes, 1990)
Stones of Aran: Labyrinth (Lilliput Press, 1995)
Oileáin Arann: A Map of the Aran Islands, with a Companion to the Map (Folding Landscapes, 1996)
Setting Foot on the Shores of Connemara (The Lilliput Press, 1996)
The Burren: A Map of the Uplands of North-West County Clare (Folding Landscapes, 1999)
My Time in Space (The Lilliput Press, 2001)
Tales and Imaginings (The Lilliput Press, 2002)
Connemara: Listening to the Wind (Penguin Ireland, 2006)
Connemara: The Last Pool of Darkness (Penguin Ireland, 2008)