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Connacht

Dunguaire Castle at sunset, Connacht, Ireland (© Patryk Kosmider - Fotolia.com)
Dunguaire Castle at sunset.
Map of Connacht (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

Introduction

The province of Connacht (Connachta in Irish, formerly anglicised as Connaught) was named after the Connachta dynasty, who claimed descent from the mythical Conn of the Hundred Battles, High King of Ireland. The name Connachta means "the descendants of Conn". Connacht is tradtionally described as the kingdom of learning and the home of the greatest and wisest druids and magicians. Men from Connacht are famed for their eloquence, their handsomeness and their ability to pronounce true judgement. In 1874 Queen Victoria granted the title Duke of Connaught to her third son, Prince Arthur.

Expanding on 17,788 km2 (6,867 sq mi) and with a mere 542,000 inhabitants, Connacht is the smallest and least populous Irish province. It was the last province to come under English rule, and the one where Irish Gaelic is the most widely spoken today, particularly in County Galway, where half of the population has at least some ability in the language.

Famous people from Connacht include (chronologically): the politician and animal rights activist Richard Martin, the chemist William Higgins, and the scholar and first President of Ireland Douglas Hyde. The clan of the O'Conors, descend from the Kings of Connacht and last High King of Ireland. The O'Conor Don (Ó Conchubhair Donn), the hereditary clan's chief, is still the titular Prince of Connacht and claiment to the High Kingship of Ireland.




Attractions

County Galway

Connemara National Park
Connemara National Park (© Patryk Kosmider - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Connemara National Park
Ballynahinch Castle
Ballynahinch Castle (© Patryk Kosmider - Fotolia.com)
very good Ballynahinch Castle Hotel

Dunguaire Castle
Dunguaire Castle (photo by Antonio Damian - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)
very good Dunguaire Castle
Portumna Castle
Ballynahinch Castle (© Patryk Kosmider - Fotolia.com)
very good Portumna Castle

Other attractions

good Clonfert
very good Coole Parke
very good Galway
good Thoor Ballylee

County Leitrim

good Parke's Castle

County Mayo

Ashford Castle
Ashford Castle (© kwiatek7 - Fotolia.com)
outstanding Ashford Castle Hotel
Moore Hall
Moore Hall
good Moore Hall (ruins)

Other attractions

very good Ballycroy National Park
good Céide Fields
good Rockfleet Castle

County Roscommon

very good Clonalis House
very good Strokestown Park (Irish National Famine Museum)

County Sligo

Lissadell House & Gardens
Lissadell House (photo by D Gore - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license)
very good Lissadell House & Gardens
Markree Castle
Markree Castle (© Alexey Zarodov - Fotolia.com)
very good Markree Castle Hotel

Other attractions

good Carrowmore Megalithic Cemetery
good Sligo Abbey
Eupedia's Rating System

Cities, towns, villages & historic buildings

  • : Moderately interesting - nice for a quick stop
  • : Recommended - to visit if you have time
  • : Outstanding place - really deserves to be seen
  • : Best of the country - shouldn't be missed
  • : Best of Europe

Natural attractions

  • : Moderately interesting
  • : Recommended
  • : Highly recommended
  • : World-class natural attraction
  • ※ : UNESCO World Heritage site


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