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The Geography of Ireland.

Irish Geography

Rivers Lakes Canals Mountains Islands


Ireland has a total area of 32,593. square miles 20,859,820 acres of this 1,036 square miles 663,040 acres of this is taken by rivers and lakes.The total length of the coastline amounts to 1,970 miles. The Irish Sea and St. George's Channel separate Ireland from the island of Great Britain to the east. The Atlantic Ocean borders the country on the north, west, and south.

The lowlands cover most of central Ireland. They include some wooded areas but consist principally of gently rolling farmlands, which are mainly pasture. They also include peat bogs (former swamps composed of partly decayed plants). Peat bogs cover about a tenth of Ireland. Most of these are located in the central and western parts of the country.

Ireland is sometimes likened to a shallow basin, most of the mountains rise near the coasts, while the centre of the island consists mainly of lowland which tends to be boggy in places. The chief mountain ranges are those of Mayo and the Mountains of Connemara in the west, in the northwest the Donegal Mountains, the Mountains of Kerry in the southwest is where Carrauntoohill Irelands highest peak, 1,041 metre is located. Spread out along the east coast are the Wicklow Mountains, the Cooly Mountains and facing them across Carlingford lough the Mourne's in County Down. On the north east corner of the island is the Antrim Glens. And finally the Sperrin Mountains in County Tyrone.

The west coast facing the fury of the Atlantic ocean has been sculpted over the millennia into majestic cliffs and bays, some of which reach many miles inland. It is at Croaghan in Co Mayo you will find the highest sea cliffs in Europe rising to a dizzy 668 M (2,192 ft) Two large bays on the west coast, Galway Bay and the mouth of the River Shannon, provide harbour's for the ports of Galway and Limerick. Other important bays on the country's west coast include Bantry, Clew, Dingle, Donegal, and Sligo bays. Hundreds of small islands lie off the west coast of Ireland. The largest of these islands include Achill Island off the coast of County Mayo, the Aran Islands off Galway and Valentia Island.

The south and east coasts are straighter and less rugged than the west coast. On the south coast, the ports of Cork and Waterford lie on excellent natural harbour's. Dublin Bay, on the east coast, provides a harbour for Dublin, the chief Irish port.