A peripheral region of Ireland This peripheral region of Ireland includes the counties of Galway, Mayo and Roscommon. The largest urban centre is Galway City with a population of 78414. This area comprises almost 20% of the total land area of the state and has just under 10% of the total population. The population density is about half of the national average. The West of Ireland Region (also known as the West Regional Authority) is a peripheral region due to the following factors: • The area is classified as _______________ with approx 20-25 people per km2 • There is a high ______________________________economic activities • The transport and communication infrastructure is ____________________________ • There are ________________ employment levels in services • A high amount of people in this region are classified as _____________________________. • The larger multinational industries employ a high amount of ______________________________ • The area suffers from __________________________________ The West of Ireland Region (also known as the West Regional Authority) is a peripheral region due to the following factors: • The area is classified as rural with approx 20-25 people per km2 • There is a high dependency on primary economic activities • The transport and communication infrastructure is underdeveloped • There are low employment levels in services • A high amount of people in this region are classified as Rural Poor. • The larger multinational industries employ a high amount of unskilled workers • The area suffers from out-migration Climate: The cool temperate oceanic climate dominates Ireland and this region. However, the presence of the Atlantic ocean to the west influences the climate. Temperatures range from 5.7◦C (winter) to 14◦C (summer) with 1150mm average rainfall received per year. Temperatures and rainfall vary from the extreme west of Mayo and Galway to the east of Roscommon due to the influence of the mountains of this region. Relief rain sees higher rainfall amounts in Mayo than the other two counties. Relief: The main mountains of this region include: Nephin Beg range in Co. Mayo. (including Croagh Patrick). The Maamturk Mountains, the Mweelrea range and Twelve Bens in Galway. Drainage: The main rivers and lakes of this region include: The River Moy in Mayo. The Corrib and Clare in Galway The Suck and Shannon in Roscommon. Lough Corrib and Mask in Galway. Lough Conn in Mayo. Soils of the region: There is a wide variety of soils in the West of Ireland region and are of a poorer quality than those in the GDA. The main soils of this region are: 1. Grey brown podzols/ 2. Blanket peat 3. Mountain peat 4. Lowland gleys 5. Acidic brown earths While there are areas of fertile brown earth soils, these tend to be acidic and confined to lowland valleys where there are pockets of settlement. West of Ireland: here the difficult physical environment (mountainous terrain, infertile soils and high rainfall levels) hamper agricultural development. This peripheral region has many small pastoral farms, where average family income levels are less than the average for the country. Approximately half of all farmers in the West are over 55 years of age and are very conservative in their farming methodstherefore, there is little chance that things will improve greatly in the near future. West of Ireland: here the difficult physical environment (mountainous terrain, infertile soils and high rainfall levels) hamper agricultural development. This peripheral region has many small pastoral farms, where average family income levels are less than the average for the country. Approximately half of all farmers in the West are over 55 years of age and are very conservative in their farming methods-therefore, there is little chance that things will improve greatly in the near future. Agriculture in the West of Ireland region is heavily influenced by the climate, relief, soil types and drainage of this peripheral region. The cool temperate oceanic climate brings rainfall amounts of up to 1150mm with temperatures ranging from 4 to 14 degrees on average. Combine this with the peaty soils and podzol soils and agriculture is more difficult. In addition the region is dominated by mountains, rivers and lakes such as the Nephin Beg range, the river Corrib and Lough Mask. As a result the region is classified as Disadvantaged by the EU. Farm sizes are smaller in the West region with 50% of the farmers over 50 years of age. This poses extra challenges. The farm sizes are not producing enough produce to make a profit and the older farmers are unable or unwilling to change their farming methods or machinery. Many cannot afford to do so. Pastoral farming is the most common type of farming. This involves cattle and sheep grazing on lowland valley areas and sheep grazing up the mountainous slopes. Dairying is limited to lowland areas of Mayo and Roscommon with milk, cheese and butter the main produce. Many of the cattle reared for meat have to be sent to the GDA for fattening before going to market. Farm sizes are smaller in the West region with 50% of the farmers over 50 years of age. This poses extra challenges. The farm sizes are not producing enough produce to make a profit and the older farmers are unable or unwilling to change their farming methods or machinery. Many cannot afford to do so. Pastoral farming is the most common type of farming. This involves cattle and sheep grazing on lowland valley areas and sheep grazing up the mountainous slopes. Dairying is limited to lowland areas of Mayo and Roscommon with milk, cheese and butter the main produce. Many of the cattle reared for meat have to be sent to the GDA for fattening before going to market. Approx 10% of Ireland is covered in forest. The climate and relief of this region means that many farmers are part-time foresters also. The mountains slopes of the region are unsuitable for most types of farming so used for tree growth instead. This land is called ‘marginal land’. Galway and Mayo are the most forested areas of this peripheral region with coniferous trees such as Pine most suitable to the acidic soils of the area. Coillte (Irish semi-state company) planted 30,000 hectares of conifers in the West especially in areas around Lough Mask, Conn and Corrib. The West of Ireland region has many advantages for this type of activity: 1. The Atlantic Ocean lies to the west 2. The North Atlantic Drift Current brings warm water and fish close to the coast 3. The waters off the coast are shallow with a rich supply of plankton on the continental shelf. 4. The coastline has many harbours due to the wests indented coastline. Primary Activity: Fishing The West of Ireland region is isolated from the larger markets of the east and those of Europe so with an indented coastline and many off-shore islands, fishing is a local source of employment. This activity employs more than 2000 people in the West. Aquaculture (the artificial growing/producing of fish such as salmon and shellfish) is increasingly important in this region especially in Mayo. The Clew Bay and Killary areas sees several hundred people employed in this area. Sea trout is farmed in the Clew Bay area. In Killary Harbour mussels are cultivated close to the shore. Primary Activity: Fishing The West of Ireland region is isolated from the larger markets of the east of Ireland with Dublin on the east coast over three hundred kilometres away. The West is also isolated from markets in Europe such as London and Paris. With an indented coastline and many off-shore islands (such as the Aran Islands), this region has favourable fishing conditions. Fishing employs more than 2000 people in the West. Aquaculture is the artificial growing/producing of fish in fish farms and tanks. The main produce in the West are fish such as salmon and shellfish. The Clew Bay and Killary areas sees several hundred people employed in this area. Sea trout is farmed in the Clew Bay area. In Killary Harbour mussels are cultivated close to the shore. Board Iascaigh Mara provides funding and training for the aquaculture area. This board set up by the Government develops skills and education in processing and catching fish stock. The major fishing ports of this peripheral region are Galway, Rossaveal and Bellmullet. Rossaveal in Galway is the largest fishing port in this region. The shellfish cultivated in this area include: Clew Bay (Mayo): Abalone, Scallops and Clams Galway: Abalone, Sea Urchins, Scallops Industry in this region is hindered by a number of factors: • Poorly developed transport infrastructure • Small urban populations • The location of the region on the west side of Ireland and extreme west of Europe • Lack of power supplies for industry • Low population density Galway city (pop. 75515) is the main centre of industry. Manufacturing industries in this region are less developed than those in the GDA. In the past the Irish Government placed taxes on imported goods to protect Irish industries from foreign competition. This protection helped traditional industries such as food processing in Castlebar and the textile industries in Foxford (Foxford Woolen Mills). However, when Ireland joined the EEC in 1973 this changed. Traditional industries faced stiff competition from cheaper goods from Europe and many closed. Information based industries replaced traditional ones. Most of these industries were foreign multinational companies such as Medical Technologies (US company). Galway city is the exception in this peripheral region. Galway has attracted many electrical and optical equipment industries and pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers. Boston Scientific is one such example. This company was established in 1994 and employs over 2500 people. Galway city is attractive to MNC’s (Multi National Companies) because of the size and quality of the labour force, research developments in third level institutions and improvements to the telecommunications network. The Irish Government set up two agencies to promote industry in the West region: Udaras na Gaeltachta : to attract industry to gaeltacht areas IDA: Industrial Development Agency : responsible for industrial development. Transport links in the West of Ireland region are limited and underdeveloped. There are only a few national primary roads. One of the finest roads is the M6 which links Galway to Dublin. In 2005 Galway only received 1/5 of the money allocated to Dublin for transport development. The main shipping port in this region is Galway port. However its portal activities are limited as it cannot cater for large containers or international passenger travel. The low population density of this region (25 per km2) has made it difficult to upgrade public transport links in this region. In 2006 it was discovered that the Irish Government did NOT spend over €500 million of the NDP (National Development Plan) on infrastructure in the West and surrounding counties!! Under Transport 21 (transport plan) the Government plans to spend this money on the Atlantic Corridor which will link Donegal to Waterford making it easier to access this region from the north and south. The undeveloped rail link needs further development and linking it to Knock airport in Mayo would increase accessibility in this region. Fishing attracts up to 20,000 national and international tourists to this region. Lough Corrib is the prime location for brown trout and best lake in Europe for this fish. Largest trout caught in the Lough Corrib was 21lb. Additional fish caught here include Pike, Atlantic Salmon, Eel, Roach and Bream. The River Corrib flows from Lough Corrib through Galway to Galway Bay. The river is among the shortest in Europe, with only a length of six kilometres from the lough to the Atlantic. It is popular with local whitewater kayakers and is the training ground of NUI, Galway Kayak club, as well as several rowing clubs. Ballina, Co. Mayo is home to the Salmon Festival held on the second week in July. Ballina is hailed as the ‘Salmon capital of Ireland’ and attracts 200000 visitors to the region. Galway Races……spin off effect important for the city of Galway and surrounding areas including the retail and hospitality trades. This race festival attracts over 250,000 visitors to the region and was 2011 second-largest festival in the region. The Race festival also includes a wide program of events from Irish talent in the form of music, theatre, art exhibitions, dance and talks. This is Irelands most popular race event and has the longest race card of all others. The Gaeltacht regions attract thousands of Irish speakers each year from school students to adults…..Colaiste Ciaran……Connemara…..Aran Islands….. Kylemore Abbey is a Benedictine monastery founded in 1920 on the grounds of Kylemore Castle, in Connemara, County Galway, Ireland. The abbey was founded for Benedictine Nuns who fled Belgium in World War I. Sport….. Mountain climbing/abseiling/treking…..Nephin Beg, Twelve Pins, etc……. Traditional crafts….Aran Islands, birth place to the Aran Jumper…..variety of stitches each unique to a family/area…… €350 million in Galway economy since 2004 thanks to crafts and festivals selling such….. Knock Airport, Mayo, award winning international airport…… Irelands fourth international airport Passenger volumes increased in past five years?????? Heavily promoted in Uk and abroad for link to Knock Shine……. Mayo….13 blue flag beaches…..ideal for surfing and swimming?????? Boyle Abbey, Roscommon is an example of a 12th century Cistercian monastery. The Abbey is now a national monument in state care and admission is currently free while restoration work is being carried out. Croagh Patrick, 764 metres (2,507 ft) tall mountain and an important site of pilgrimage in County Mayo. On "Reek Sunday", the last Sunday in July every year, over 15,000 pilgrims climb it. The Clifden Show in Ireland is the largest horse show in the world which showcases the Connemara pony breed.