According to him, the myths arose from definite local (especially atmospheric and aquatic) phenomena, and represented the annually recurring processes of nature as the acts of gods and heroes; thus, in Achill (1853), the Trojan War is the winter conflict of the elements in that district.
Clew Bay, with its islets capped by glacial drift, is a submerged part of a synclinal of Carboniferous strata, and Old Red Sandstone comes out on the north side of this, from near Achill to Lough Conn.
Exceptions, however, are Tory Island and North Aran off the Donegal coast, Achill and Clare off Mayo, the South Arans guarding Galway Bay, the Blasquets and Valencia off the Kerry coast.
The Congested Districts Board, however, have made efforts to improve the condition of the people, and a branch of the Midland Great Western railway to Achill Sound, together with a swivel bridge across the sound, improved communications and make for prosperity.
The island is mountainous, the highest points being Slieve Croaghaun (2192 ft.) in the west, and Slievemore (2204 ft.) in the north; the extreme western point is the bold and rugged promontory of Achill Head, and the northwestern and south-western coasts consist of ranges of magnificent cliffs, reaching a height of Boo ft.
A branch of the Midland Great Western railway enters the county from Athlone, in the south-east, and runs north to Ballina and Killala on the coast, branches diverging from Claremorris to Ballinrobe, and from Manulla to Westport and Achill on the west coast.