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.
South of the line between Galway and Dublin the coal is anthracitic, while north of this line it is bituminous.
Following the coast southward, Donegal Bay is divided from Galway Bay by the hammer-like projection of county Mayo and Connemara, the square inlet of Clew Bay intervening.
To the west of these last, the mountains of Connemara and, to a more marked degree, the narrow plain of bog-land between them and Galway Bay, are sown with small lakes, nearly every hollow of this wild district being filled with water.
ARAN ISLANDS, or South Aran, three islands lying across Galway Bay, on the west coast of Ireland, in a south-easterly direction, forming a kind of natural breakwater.
The county is in the Protestant diocese of Tuam and the Roman Catholic dioceses of Taum, Achonry, Galway and Kilmacduagh, and Killala.
This residence takes its name from the family of whom James Lynch Fitzstephen, mayor of Galway in 1493, was a member; whose severity as a magistrate is exemplified in the story that he executed his own son, and thus gave origin (according to one of several theories) to the familiar term of Lynch law.
The principal groups, with their highest points, are the Mournes (Slieve Donard, 2796 ft.) and the Wicklow mountains (Lugnaquilla, 3 0 39) on the east; the Sperrins (Sawel, 2240) in the north; the Derryveagh group in the north-west (Errigal, 2466); the many groups or short ranges of Sligo, Mayo and Galway (reaching 1695 ft.
The shipping trade is considerable, but as a trans-Atlantic port Galway was exploited unsuccessfully.
The counties of Clare and Longford, and the towns of Galway and Athenry, were afterwards added, and the number of popular representatives does not appear to have much exceeded sixty during the later middle ages.