The West of Ireland – A Peripheral Regions by zhouwenjuan


									The West of Ireland – A Peripheral Regions

   A peripheral region is one which is disadvantaged by its human and
    physical environments
   They are characterised by their marginal location, difficult natural
    environment, underdeveloped communications, extensive farming
    (pastoral – livestock), rural society, over dependency on primary industry,
    higher unemployment, limited access to markets, conservatism, low
    incomes, low living standards, inadequate services and emigration

  Relief and Drainage

   Much of the western coastline was submerged by the sea, so it has many
    bays and inlets
   Much of the West has rugged uplands, where glacially eroded mountains
    rise higher than 300metres
   Its mountains and uplands include Connemara, Mweelrea, Nephin, Ox and
    Cuilcagh Uplands
   The western part of the central undulating lowland is composed of the river
    flood plains of the River Clare, Moy and Shannon
   Many lake also exists including Loughs Conn, Mask, Corrib and Ree
   Much of the lowland soil is poorly drained
   Glacial deposits disturbed natural drainage by glacial action and shallow
    depressions were created that filled with water to form lakes in which
    deep, raised bogs formed, close to the River Shannon
   The soils of eastern Galway are shallow, with carboniferous limestone
    close to or exposed at the surface


   The climate is Cool Temperate Oceanic
   It is relatively mild throughout the winter months, with January
    temperatures averaging about 4°C or 5°C
   The North Atlantic Drift, which flows from the Gulf of Mexico towards
    Ireland, has a moderating influence that keeps winter temperatures mild
    and keeps the seas ice-free
   Blowing over this warm water surface are the South-Westerly Anti-Trades,
    which bring warm air to coastal regions.
   Summers are warm, with average temperatures rarely above 15°C
 The climate is mild, wet throughout the year and very windy
 This is directly linked to the prevailing south-westerly winds and frontal
  depressions which are forced to rise over the mountainous western
 These create relief rain over the mountains
 Precipitation can be higher than 1500-2000mm annually, with more than
  250days of rain in the year, mostly falling in winter

Primary Economic Activities

 Agriculture is the most important single industry in Ireland’s economy
 Traditional farming in the west of Ireland provides only low income to
  most farmers
 Average farm income is only 50% of that of the eastern region and only
  14% of farms can be considered viable, full-time units
 Difficult environmental conditions, namely high rainfall, peat and
  waterlogged soils, thin stony soils and mountainous terrain, limit how
  productive the land can be for agriculture
 63% of Irish farms are located in the BMW region
 The average size of farms is small at 18.4 hectares, mechanisation is low
  and a high proportion of farmers are older
 Tillage (crops) is not suitable for most of this region
 Grazing of beef cattle and sheep (pastoral) is dominant
 Dairy farming is mainly found in larger lowland farms
 The EU supports West of Ireland farmers via it’s funding initiative called
  the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)
 Initially the larger farms benefited from CAP buying all farm produce that
  could not be sold on the open markets
 However, the EU reformed CAP to benefit the smaller farmers
 The Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) provides direct
  payments to farmers in return for environmental conservation
 The West of Ireland is a prime location for fishing, as it has access to the
  rich fishing grounds of the Atlantic, the North Atlantic Drift creates
  favourable conditions for fish stock replenishment, the shallow continental
  shelf is rich in plankton and many natural harbours are provided by its
 Fishing off Ireland’s coast prior to the 1960s was small scale, widely
  dispersed and largely part-time.
 Most fishermen used single wooden vessels, only suitable for inshore
 Many fishermen also relied on farming or social welfare to supplement
  their income
 Since joining the EU, fishing fleets increased in size and number
 Over-fishing became a problem, reducing fish stocks and hampering the
  development of the industry
 The Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) was adopted in 1983 to create a free
  market in fish and to conserve fish stocks
 Modern technology and larger ships/fleets resulted in severe over-fishing
 The main aspects of the CFP were – fishing zones were identified, quotas
  were applied, fishing net regulations were enforced, a boat scrappage
  scheme was introduced and boats in the Atlantic fishing grounds are
  limited to 9 days at sea per month
 As a result, more jobs have been created onshore – processing of fish and
  fish farms (aquaculture)
 Fish farming output is on the increase (30,000 tonnes in 1993 to 50,000+ in
 Most fishermen that lost their jobs are now employed in fish farms

 The West is a favourable location for forestry, with growth rates much
  higher than parts of Scandinavia
 Forests are mainly found in sheltered lowland areas, as high winds restrict
  growth in exposed areas
 Coillte planted most of Ireland’s coniferous trees, in excess of 30,000
 Both the EU and the government offer grants to those involved in forestry
 Land of lesser quality has been used more recently to plant forests, land
  which would normally have been left idle/fallow/barron, therefore
  increasing the productivity of the land
 This is known as aforestation and has proved profitable in places such as
  Newport & Westport

 The West of Ireland provides the right conditions for peat to form – high
  rainfall, high humidity and low rate of evaporation
 The power plant at Bellacorick used peat to generate electricity, however it
  closed due to the inefficiency of the fuel, at a cost of 65 jobs
 Peat is still used as a domestic fuel across the BMW
 Wind farms generate renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions and
  powering many thousands of homes e.g. Kilmore, Co Wexford
 The Corrib Gas Field is a substantial gas deposit off the coast of Mayo
 It is capable of supplying Ireland’s energy needs for the next 10 to 15 years
 The gas will be piped ashore and processed at Bellanaboy Bridge, Mayo

Secondary Economic Activities

 Between the 1920s and 1950s the Government imposed taxes on imports to
  allow Irish manufacturers compete with their foreign counterparts
 Both the food processing (eg Connacht Gold Cremery) and textile (eg
  Foxford Woolen Mills, Co. Mayo) industries benefited from this initiative
 Since joining the EU in 1973 many traditional industries closed down
 Udarás na Gaeltachta (works for the economic, social and cultural
  development of Irish speaking regions) and the Industrial Development
  Agency (promotes the development of the rest of the region) were set up to
  encourage economic development by offering services such as staff
  training, grants, tax incentives and work premises
 New industries have been attracted to the region such as electronics,
  engineering, IT and high-fashion textiles
 These new industries have come from across Europe and North America
 Other Irish based companies have located here such as Radio na Gaeltachta
  and TG4
 The West receives multilateral development aid (aid from a group of
  countries e.g. the EU or the UN) as it is an under-developed region
 This aid comes from the Regional Development Fund (for education &
  training) and the EU Structural Fund (for transport and communications)
 Textile and manufacturing industries are shedding jobs in recent years as
  they struggle to compete with cheaper European manufacturers and with
  the ability to purchase cheaper goods online
 Read Case Studies for Mayo & Galway P168/9 and make a few notes

Tertiary Economic Activities

 In 1981 Ireland became defined as a service economy when, for the first
  time, more than half the working population was employed in the tertiary
 By 2002, approximately 70% of all employment was in service and three
  quarters of these jobs were in the eastern and southern region
 In the 1990s four out of every 5 jobs created were in the services sector
 The three most important of the International Traded Service (ITS)
  industries are – computer software, data processing and international
  financial services
 By 2002, some 56000 jobs were available in ITS and Greater Dublin
  benefited most
 Transport & communications in the BMW are affected by physical and
  human characteristics such as mountainous relief and low population
 Transport infrastructure is mainly developed to service Galway, Sligo,
  Letterkenny, Dundalk & Athlone
 Poor roads prevent economic development
 Rail networks serve the main centres, while many areas lose out
 4% of the BMW population rely on public transport compared to the
  national average of 11%
 Huge reliance on owning a car
 Many new motorways and dual-carriageways have been built or are
  planned to be built, linking the main towns of the BMW with the cities of
  Cork, Galway and Dublin
 Economic recession, however, has slowed the progress made by the
  National Roads Authority and Transport 21 as part of the National
  Development Plan
 Despite its peripheral location, many jobs have been created in the BMW
  in the tele-services industry i.e. call centres or online ticket sales points
 Tourism in the BMW relies heavily on the landscape – scenic coasts,
  mountains, rivers & lakes
 Tourism has not grown as much as that in the Greater Dublin Area for a
  number of human and physical reasons:
               Distance from Dublin Airport
               Ireland is considered an expensive location
               Economic recession
               The Shannon Stop-over is now obsolete, thus reducing
               number travelling to the BMW
               Transport and car hire are expensive

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