County Mayo (after Mayo Abbey) is a county in the province of Connacht, located on the west coast of Ireland. The county town of Mayo is Castlebar. Mayo is bordered to the south by Galway, to the east by Roscommon, and to the north-east by Sligo. Castlebar and Ballina are by far the two most populous towns in the county, with 10,729 and 10,146 residents respectively according to the 2006 census; with Castlebar being much larger by land area. These are followed by Westport, a popular tourist town, which has 5,140 residents. The fourth largest town is Claremorris with a population of 3,170. Other towns include Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis, Belmullet and Swinford.
The shrine of Knock is in Mayo, close to the border with County Roscommon. Mayo is also home to Croagh Patrick, a mountain where St Patrick is said to have fasted for forty days and nights, although worship connected with the mountain is believed to have preceded the arrival of Christianity.
The highest point in Mayo and Connacht is Mweelrea (814 metres). 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 is also noted for its Gaelic football team, and their struggle to capture the All-Ireland Football Title in recent years. They last won the Sam Maguire Cup in 1951, when the team was captained by Seán Flanagan. Mayo's most recent All-Ireland final losses have been in 1989, 1996, 1997, 2004 and 2006. They defeated a hotly tipped Dublin team in the 2006 All Ireland Semi Final; In what match commentators said was one of the best games ever in Croke Park, Mayo won by one point. (...) more…
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