GALWAY TREES

From A Topographical Dictionary of Ireland, 1837

The quantity of large full-grown timber found in the bogs proves that the county, though now nearly bare, was once well wooded: the hilly districts abound more in bog timber than the plain country. The trees most usually found are oak and fir, the latter of which is manufactured into ropes, which resist damp better than those of hemp. Yew of considerable size and finely grained is frequently found. Another proof that the soil is well adapted for the growth of timber may be drawn from the fact, that in almost every dry knoll or cliff the oak, beech, and hazel may be found shooting up in abundance, when not checked by the destructive browsing of goats. The plantations at present are mostly confined to skreens round gentlemen's demesnes.

Although the county now exhibits such tracts of neglected waste, several attempts on a large scale to improve its natural advantages have been made. A farming society was formerly held at Loughrea; the Farming Society of Ireland held its great annual meeting at Ballinasloe till its dissolution; and the newly formed Agricultural Society of Ireland holds one of its periodical meetings in the same town. The general fuel of the county is turf, of which the stores contained in the bogs of the western districts are deemed inexhaustible, and great quantities are taken by boats to the county of Clare, as well as to the isles of Arran, and the inner shores of Galway bay. The only parts where any scarcity of this fuel is experienced are in the districts bordering on the shores of Galway bay, and in the line from the town of Galway to Athenry and Monivae: the use of sea coal is almost confined to the town of Galway.

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