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Achill Island

County Mayo

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Achill Island

Irish Name: Maigh Eo: "Plain of the yew"

County Town: Castlebar

Nickname: The Yew County

GAA Colors: Green and Red

Famous People with Mayo roots: Former Irish president Mary Robinson; former Irish Taoiseach Charles Haughey; former New York mayor Bill O'Dwyer; former US President Richard Nixon's wife Pat; Irish land reformer Michael Davitt, Oliver Goldsmith; athletes Jim Corbett, Gene Tunney, Steve Staunton

 

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 Mayo (Irish: Maigh Eo), but the county seat is Castlebar. Mayo is the third largest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area and 15th largest in terms of population. It is the second largest of Connacht’s five counties in both size and population. Mayo suffered some of the heaviest blows that resulted from the Great Famine, with a large proportion of its population either starving to death or emigrating abroad.

The highest point in Mayo and Connacht is Mweelrea (814 m/2,670 ft). The river Moy in the northeast of the county is renowned for its salmon fishing. Ireland's largest island, Achill, lies off Mayo's west coast. Mayo has Ireland's highest cliffs (third highest in Europe) at Croaghaun, Achill island.

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[citation needed] to have fasted for forty days and nights, although worship connected with the mountain is believed[citation needed] to have preceded the arrival of Christianity. Mayo has also been the setting of many classic works of Irish literature, including John Millington Synge's The Playboy of the Western World, and the Lady Gregory/WB Yeats collaboration Cathleen Ni Houlihan.

Common Mayo Surnames: Gallagher, Durkan, McHale, Barrett, McNulty, McNicholas, Brennan, Henry, Doyle, Harkin, Doherty, Foy, Kelly, Loftus, Lavelle, Gaughan, Walsh, Burke, Gibbons, Prendergast, Joyce, Murray, Gallagher Lydon, Heneghan, Murphy, O'Malley, Moran, Duffy, O'Connor, Waldron, Farragher

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