Ireland page 3-6

           Counties Of Ireland           


Donegal, the most northerly county in Ireland, extends along much of the north west coast. It is a region famous for its scenery - with a beautiful, much indented coast, great areas of mountains, deep glens and many lakes.

All kinds of rock, form a cave-riddled limestone to complicated mixtures of igneous rocks, make up the foundations of the county; and it is this that gives it so much variety of form and colour to the scenery.

Truly a gem among counties. Boasting coastal and mountain scenery that are unsurpassed in the rest of the country, the county has long been kept secret by those in the know!

Relatively cut off from the rest of Ireland, geographically, historically and culturally, With mysterious off-shore Islands, unspoiled Salmon fishing, magnificent Golf courses, beautiful long beaches and quiet untravelled roads

Donegal is a must for off-the-beaten-track exploration. The Inishowen peninsula has a coastal drive that is over 100 miles long.


Down, one of Ireland's most fertile counties, is remarkable for its many low, beautifully cultivated hills. In striking contrast is the granite mass of the Mourne Mountains in the south, where Slieve Donard rises from the sea to 2,796 feet, Slieve Croob (1,755 feet) tops another group of hills in the centre of the County.

In the east, the Ards peninsula forms a barrier between the sea and the almost land-locked Strandford Lough, Bangor, Donaghadee, Newcastle and Warrenpoint are some of the fine resorts that line the beautiful Down coast; they are linked by good roads that closely follow the winding shore.

County Down has many important historic sites and ancient monuments, together with attractions for the sportsman, the climber, the walker and sightseeing tourist.

The county includes the part of Belfast that lies east of the river Lagan. .On the northeast of Ireland, Down is one of Ireland's most interesting counties, bordered on the north by Belfast, most of its towns are dormer towns for that thriving city.

The towns of Bangor, Hollywood, Ardglass, Newcastle and Portaferry are typical of the now-modern Victorian seaside resorts. Newry in the south of the County is probably the busiest border crossing to Southern Ireland and is therefore a bustling trading town.
The mountains of Mourne, which truly, in Percy French's words, "sweep down to the sea", are a very popular area for tourists


Dublin Bay, with its great sweep of coast from the rocky brow f Howth in the north to the headland of Dalkey in the south, is a fitting introduction to one of Europe's finest capitals. The city is spread over the broad valley of the River Liffey, with the Wicklow Hills sheltering it on the south. In addition to its splendid public buildings,

Dublin is particularly rich in domestic architecture of the 128th century. Fine Georgian mansions, many of them with historical association, lend sober beauty to the city's wide street and spacious squares. There is a wealth of interest for the visitor to Dublin in its architecture, its fashionable shopping centres, its wide range of entertainment and important events. The beautiful surroundings of the city are very easy to get to; a short journey brings one to a pleasant beach or to the Dublin Mountains

The County of Dublin now barely contains the growing Capital City. A city with a wealth of attractions. Famous for writers, poets and musicians, Dublin is also home for The Book of Kells, the beautifully decorated early christian manuscript and "Guinness" the world famous black beer which is made at St. James Gate Brewery in the heart of the city and the biggest brewery site in Europe. The Hop Store now houses the World of Guinness exhibition.


The most remarkable natural feature of County Fermanagh is the River Erne, which winds through the centre of the county. It expands into two extensive lakes. Upper and Lower Lough Erne, both to which have many islands. Navigable by cruiser boat, via lake and canal, this beautiful lake is connected to the uppermost reaches of the Shannon, creating over 200 miles of linked waterways for pleasure cruising and fishing.

Some level land borders the river and lakes, but the rest of the county is hilly rising to 2,188 feet in Cuilcagh Mountain on the County Cavan border. In the north-west Fermanagh touches the shore of Lough Melvin, and set among hills on the western border are Upper and Lower Lough Macnean.

The limestone hills of west Fermanagh contain many interesting cave systems, and with the exception of County Clare is the most notable area in Ireland for the speleologist. This is a county with many attractions for the visitor; boating and fishing on the 'lakeland of Ulster', climbing, interesting monuments, and throughout the county the charm of good scenery and pleasant towns and villages.

Though Enniskillen is the county's capital, Belleek, a tiny village on the western border is more famous because it is the home of the regions beautiful translucent Parian china, prized by collectors.


Galway is a large County divided into two contrasting regions by the expanse of Lough Corrib. To the west, lying between the lake and the Atlantic, is Connemara - a region of superb scenic grandeur dominated by the rocky mountain range known as the Twelve Bens.

Connemara has inspired many famous paintings, and a tour of the district is a memorable experience. A great many of the inhabitants are Irish speakers, and much of the ancient Gaelic culture is preserved.

The sturdy, Connemara pony is particularly prevalent in the coastal area west from Spiddal and in the district lying between Oughterad and Clifden; the Connemara Pony Show is a popular annual event.

East of Lough Corrib, a fertile limestone plain extends to the Galway-Roscommon border and the River Shannon. Galway City with its seaside suburb of Salthill lies south of the lake. It is an important tourist centre and a gateway to the scenic areas of the county.

Galway celebrated its 500th anniversary as a city in 1986. Originally a Gaelic settlement, it was quickly adopted by the Normans as their primary Western trading city. The Spanish and French sailed their galleons to Galway for hundreds of years trading their wines and brandies for metals and wools from Ireland. Galway still has a very obvious merchant town feel with the city center a warren of narrow lanes and paved street packed with interesting pubs and shops.

Connemara, Galway's west coast, boasts beautiful Mountain, Bog, Lake and Coastal scenery and if you have seen the classic 50's movie, The Quiet Man starring Maureen O'Hara & John Wayne, then need I say more. Off Galway's coast are the Aran Islands, perhaps the last bastion of living Celtic and Gaelic Ireland, where Irish/Gaelic is still spoken and the old traditions are still practiced. It is a popular day-trip for visitors annually.