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Your Are Here - Home > Counties > Mayo County
County Mayo (Irish: Contae Mhaigh Eo, meaning ‘County of Plain of Yews’, after Mayo Abbey) is a county in the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of Ireland. The county town of Mayo is Castlebar. Mayo is bordered to the south by Galway, to the east by Roscommon, and to the north-east by Sligo. Castlebar and Ballina are by far the two most populous towns in the county, with 10,729 and 10,146 residents respectively according to the 2006 census; with Ballina being much larger by land area. These are followed by Westport, a popular tourist town, which has 5,140 residents. The fourth largest town is Claremorris, a bustling market town, with a population of 3,170. Other towns include Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Belmullet and Swinford.

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. This can still be seen today with communities in Preston, Birmingham, North London, Nottingham and Middlesbrough openly proud of their Mayo roots, reflected in songs and the use of Gaelic football shirts.

The Knock Shrine is in Mayo, close to the border with County Roscommon. Mayo is also home to Croagh Patrick, 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.

Places of Interest include -
Ashford Castle, Achill Island (Acaill) , Ballintubber Abbey, Ceide Fields, Clare Island, Clew Bay, Croagh Patrick, Ireland West Airport Knock, Lough Mask (Loch Measca), Mullet Peninsula, Nephin Beg Mountains, Partry Mountains, Rockfleet Castle and Westport House

Mayo is also noted for its Gaelic football team, and their struggle 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 losses 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 match commentators said was one of the best games ever in Croke Park, Mayo won by one point.

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Mayo County
Place: Connacht
People: 126,000
Speak: English, Irish
Area: 5,397 km2
GPS: -9.25, 53.9