Connemara, wild, mountainous region, Co. Galway, W Republic of Ireland, lying between the Atlantic Ocean and Loughs Corrib and Mask. Many mountains, lakes, streams, and glens help make it a well-known vacation area. Most of the villages are found along the coast; Clifden is the chief town. The peat bogs of S Connemara are major fuel sources. Particularly famous is the hardy breed of ponies peculiar to the region.

Connemara (in Irish: Conamara), which derives from Conmhaicne Mara (meaning: descendants of Con Mhac, of the sea), is a district in the west of Ireland comprising of a broad peninsula between Killary Harbour and Kilkieran Bay in the west of County Galway or south west Connacht. The Conmhaicne Mara were a branch of the Conmhaicne, an early tribal grouping that had a number of branches located in different parts of Connacht. As this branch of Conmhaicne were located by the sea they became known as the Conmhaicne Mara, i.e., of the sea. Connemara lies in the territory of Iar Connacht, "West Connacht", which is the portion of County Galway west of Lough Corrib and the portion of County Mayo in the barony of Ross. Connemara was traditionally divided into North Connemara and South Connemara. The mountains of the Twelve Bens and the Owenglin river, which flows into the sea at An Clochán/Clifden, marked the boundary between the two parts. Connemara is bounded on the west, south and north by the Atlantic. Connemara's land boundary with the rest of County Galway is marked by the Invermore River (which flows into the north of Kilkieran Bay), Loch Oorid, (which lies a few miles west of Maam Cross, and the western spine of the Maumturks mountains in the north of which the boundary meets the sea at the Killary a few miles west of Leenaun.


The term Connemara is now commonly used (although incorrectly) to describe all of County Galway west of Lough Corrib. Connemara is often used to describe the Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking areas) of western County Galway; however this is inaccurate as some of these areas are outside of the traditional boundary of Connemara. Another misconception is that Connemara's eastern boundary ends around Inverin and Maam Cross.

Connemara is composed of the Catholic parishes of Carna, Clifden (Omey and Ballindoon), Ballynakill, Roundstone and Inishbofin. The territory contains the civil parishes of Moyrus, Ballynakill, Omey, Ballindoon and Inishbofin (the last parish was for a time part of the territory of the Clann Uí Mháille, the O Malleys of the territory of Umhall, County Mayo.)


The Ó Cadhla (Kealy) clan were the rulers of Connemara up until the 13th century when they were displaced them from this position by the O Flahertys who fled into Iar Connacht from Maigh Seola during the English invasion of Connacht in the early 1200s. The Mac Conghaile (Conneely) clan were like the Ó Cadhla clan also a branch of the Conmhaicne Mara.

The coast of Connemara consists of a number of peninsulas. The peninsula of Iorras Ainbhtheach (sometimes corrupted to Iorras Aithneach) in the south is the largest and contains the villages of Carna and Kilkieran. The peninsula of Errismore consists of the area west of the village of Ballyconneely. Errisbeg peninsula lies to the south of the village of Roundstone. The Errislannan peninsula lies just south of the town of Clifden. The peninsulas of Aughris, Cleggan and Renvyle are found in the north-west of Connemara. There are numerous islands found off the coast of Connemara of which Inishbofin is the largest, other islands include Omey, Inishark, High Island, Friars Island, Feenish and Mweenish.

The main town of Connemara is Clifden. The area around the town is rich with megalithic tombs. The famous green/white Connemara Marble was a trade treasure used by the inhabitants of the time and continues to be of great value today. It is used for the pendant which makes up the Scouting Ireland Chief Scout's Award, the highest award in Irish Scouting.

Connemara Aerodrome

Connemara Regional Airport is home to Aer Arann, who operate daily air services to the three Arann Islands. They operate 3 Britten-Norman Islanders EI-AYN, EI-BCE and EI-CUW. The airport is located about 35 km west of Galway city along the coast at the town of Inverin. The airport sits just under the boundary of the Shannon CTA for the approach to runway 08 at Carnmore.

Notable towns and villages in Connemara

See also

External links

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