Connaught, the westernmost of the four provinces of Ireland, comprising the counties Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Leitrim, and Sligo; area, 6,614 sq. m.; pop. in 1841, 1,418,859; in 1851, 1,012,006; in 1861,913,135; in 1871, 845,993, of whom 803,532 were Roman Catholics. It is extremely rugged and mountainous except in the central part, and abounds in magnificent scenery, but the soil is the most barren in Ireland. A great part of the land consists of bog. It is drained by the Shannon and its affluents, and by numerous rivers of less note, which mostly take their rise from lakes and flow into the ocean. The coast is broken by many bays and inlets. The population is almost entirelv of Celtic race, and the Irish Ian-guage is still extensively spoken. The moral and physical condition of the people is lower than in the other provinces; abject poverty prevails, and the population is steadily decreasing. Galway, Sligo, and Ballina, all seaports, are the chief towns. - Connaught was divided into counties by Queen Elizabeth in 1590.