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Galway is a large county divided into two contrasting regions by the expanse of Lough Corrib. To the west, lying between the lake and the Atlantic, is Connemara. East of Lough Corrib, a fertile limestone plain extends to the Galway-Roscommon border and the River Shannon.

Galway city with its seaside suburb of Salthill lies south of the lake. It is an important tourist centre and the gateway to the scenic areas of the country.