Images of County Galway - John Casey
In Irish, An Iarmhí, county in the province of Leinster, central Ireland.
It is bounded by Counties Cavan (north), Meath (east), Offaly (south), Roscommon (west), and Longford (northwest). The western boundary is the lower part of Lough (lake) Ree and the River Shannon, but elsewhere the county's limits wind through the central lowland, except at Lough Sheelin in the north.
The county's terrain is largely undulating and about 200-400 feet (60-120 m) above sea level; in the south are numerous long, narrow glacial ridges called eskers.
Westmeath was the north Teffia part of the ancient kingdom of Meath, Longford being south Teffia. With the Anglo-Norman conquest in the 12th century, it became part of the de Lacy earldom of Meath, but it was not intensively Anglicized, and the Irish held their ground. In 1241 the earldom lost its unity, and, with the deterioration of the English hold on Ireland, the western part of the earldom passed out of government control. Following the 16th-century reconquest of Ireland, Westmeath was separated from Meath in 1541 and ultimately passed into the hands of English landlords.
The town of Athlone Population (1991) 15,358, had military importance as a key to the crossing of the River Shannon.
Mullingar is the seat of the county council and a principal industrial town, along with Athlone.
Area 681 square miles (1,763 square km).
Population (1991) 61,880.
The principal river is the Inny, a tributary of the Shannon.
Westmeath is a paradise for angling, cruising on the Shannon,boating and watersports, golf and equestrian pursuits.
Athlone Castle dates from 1210. In 1257 the Normans also built the town walls of Athlone. Today these walls have been almost totally destroyed, but they are still in evidence at Court Devinish. Athlone is also a point from which to take the cruises up or down the Shannon.
The main attractions of Mullingar are the Cathedral of Christ the King, which was built in 1939, and the Market House Museum.
Other attractions of Westmeath include the picturesque village of Multyfarnam, the village of Fore, famed for its' seven wonders and the numerous lakes which gives Westmeath the title of 'the Lake County'.
There is a wealth of trout and coarse angling on the Westmeath Lakes, Ennell, Owel, Derravaragh, Sheelin, Lene, Lough Ree, the River Shannon and the Royal Canal.
To get to Westmeath from the South follow the N7 or N8 National Primary Routes north and then the N62.
To get to Westmeath from Dublin follow the N4 National Primary Route as far as Kinnegad. Continue on the N4 if travelling to Mullingar or surrounding areas or else take the N6 National Primary Route if travelling to Kilbeggan, Moate, Athlone or surrounding areas.
To get to Westmeath from Galway follow the N6 National Primary Route through Ballinasloe. The first Westmeath town you will encounter is Athlone.
Maps and Routeplanners to help your plan your journey are available on irlguide.com.
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