An Overview of Ireland's Regions and
Ireland (like this topic) is divided into four sections, or provinces: Leinster, Connacht, Mun-
ster, and Ulster. Each of these provinces was once a separate kingdom, but today they have
very little political significance. The most important unit of human geography today is the
county . Irish people strongly identify with their county, and each one has its own personal-
ity, accent, and cultural heritage.
Leinster (the East)
Historically, Leinster was thought of as the most wealthy and profitable of the kingdoms,
largely because of its huge trading port: Dublin. Dublin still dominates the scene in Leinster,
but there are other sites to be seen as well once you get out of the city.
Connacht (the West)
Thought to be the home of Ireland's most powerful druids and enchanters, Connacht still
casts its inescapable spell on travelers. Connacht is home to some of the most dramatic land-
scapes on the island, and its main city - Galway - is considered Ireland's cultural capital.
Munster (the South)
Ancient Celtic epics tell of great bards, singers and poets emerging from the rustic land-
scapes of southern Ireland. This is still true today, as the southern counties of Cork and Kerry
produce some of Ireland's finest music, and are the best place to hear Irish (Gaelic) spoken
as an everyday language.
Ulster (the North)
The historic kingdom of Ulster includes not only Northern Ireland (part of the U.K.), but
also three counties in the Republic of Ireland. In ancient times, long before Northern Ireland
was separated from the rest of the island, Ulster was home to Ireland's most fearsome war-