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County Mayo ( ) is one of the traditional counties of Ireland and is located within the province of Connacht. It was named after the village of Mayomarker ( ). Mayo is the secondlargest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area and 15th largest in terms of population. It is the second largest of Connacht’s 5 counties in size and second largest in terms of population.


The highest point in Mayo and Connacht is Mweelreamarker ( ). The river Moymarker in the northeast of the county is renowned for its salmon fishing. Ireland's largest island, Achillmarker, lies off Mayo's west coast. Mayo has Ireland's highest cliffs (third highest in Europe) at Croaghaunmarker, Achill island.

Towns and villages

Castlebarmarker and Ballinamarker are by far the two most populous towns in the county, with 17,891 and 10,146 residents respectively according to the 2006 census; with Ballina being much larger by land area. These are followed by Westportmarker, a popular tourist town, which has 5,140 residents. The fourth largest town is Claremorrismarker, a market town, with a population of 3,170.


The county has experienced perhaps the highest emigration out of Ireland. In the 1840s-1880s, waves of emigrants left the rural townlands of the county. Initially triggered by the Great Famine and then in search of work in the newly industrialising England, Scotland and the United States, the population fell considerably. From 388,887 in 1841, the population fell to 199,166 in 1901. The population reached a low of 109,525 in 1971 as emigration continued.

Places of interest

The Knock Shrinemarker is in Mayo, close to the border with County Roscommonmarker. Mayo is also home to Croagh Patrickmarker, a mountain where St Patrick is said to have fasted for forty days and nights, although worship connected with the mountain is believed to have preceded the arrival of Christianity.


Mayo is also noted for its Gaelic football team, and their efforts to capture the All-Ireland Football Title in recent years. They last won the Sam Maguire Cup in 1951, when the team was captained by Seán Flanagan. Mayo's most recent All-Ireland final appearances have been in 1989, 1996, 1997, 2004 and 2006. They defeated a hotly tipped Dublin team in the 2006 All Ireland Semi Final in what is generally acknowledged to be one of the best games ever played in Croke Park, Mayo winning by one point.

Energy resources controversy

There is local resistance to Shell's decision to refine raw gas from the Corrib gas field at an onshore refinery. In 2005, five local men were jailed for contempt of court after refusing to facilitate Shell's work. Subsequent protests against the project led to the Shell to Sea and related campaigns.

Notable people

See also


External links

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