Tidal power or tidal energy is a form of hydropower that converts the energy obtained from tides into useful forms of power electricity. Although not yet used, tidal energy has potential for future electricity generation. Tides are more predictable than the sun. Among sources of renewable energy, tidal energy has traditionally suffered from high cost and limited availability of sites with sufficiently high tidal ranges or flow velocities, thus constricting its total availability. However, many recent technological developments and improvements, both in design and turbine technology, indicate that the total availability of tidal power may be much higher than assumed, that economic and environmental costs may be brought down to competitive levels. Tide mills have been used both in Europe and on the Atlantic coast of North America; the incoming water was contained in large storage ponds, as the tide went out, it turned waterwheels that used the mechanical power it produced to mill grain. The earliest occurrences date from the Middle Ages, or from Roman times.
The process of using falling water and spinning turbines to create electricity was introduced in the U. S. and Europe in the 19th century. The world's first large-scale tidal power plant was the Rance Tidal Power Station in France, which became operational in 1966, it was the largest tidal power station in terms of output until Sihwa Lake Tidal Power Station opened in South Korea in August 2011. The Sihwa station uses sea wall defense barriers complete with 10 turbines generating 254 MW. Tidal power is taken from the Earth's oceanic tides. Tidal forces are periodic variations in gravitational attraction exerted by celestial bodies; these forces create corresponding currents in the world's oceans. Due to the strong attraction to the oceans, a bulge in the water level is created, causing a temporary increase in sea level; as the Earth rotates, this bulge of ocean water meets the shallow water adjacent to the shoreline and creates a tide. This occurrence takes place in an unfailing manner, due to the consistent pattern of the moon's orbit around the earth.
The magnitude and character of this motion reflects the changing positions of the Moon and Sun relative to the Earth, the effects of Earth's rotation, local geography of the sea floor and coastlines. Tidal power is the only technology that draws on energy inherent in the orbital characteristics of the Earth–Moon system, to a lesser extent in the Earth–Sun system. Other natural energies exploited by human technology originate directly or indirectly with the Sun, including fossil fuel, conventional hydroelectric, biofuel and solar energy. Nuclear energy makes use of Earth's mineral deposits of fissionable elements, while geothermal power utilizes the Earth's internal heat, which comes from a combination of residual heat from planetary accretion and heat produced through radioactive decay. A tidal generator converts the energy of tidal flows into electricity. Greater tidal variation and higher tidal current velocities can increase the potential of a site for tidal electricity generation; because the Earth's tides are due to gravitational interaction with the Moon and Sun and the Earth's rotation, tidal power is inexhaustible and classified as a renewable energy resource.
Movement of tides causes a loss of mechanical energy in the Earth–Moon system: this is a result of pumping of water through natural restrictions around coastlines and consequent viscous dissipation at the seabed and in turbulence. This loss of energy has caused the rotation of the Earth to slow in the 4.5 billion years since its formation. During the last 620 million years the period of rotation of the earth has increased from 21.9 hours to 24 hours. While tidal power will take additional energy from the system, the effect is negligible and would only be noticed over millions of years. Tidal power can be classified into four generating methods: Tidal stream generators make use of the kinetic energy of moving water to power turbines, in a similar way to wind turbines that use wind to power turbines; some tidal generators can be built into the structures of existing bridges or are submersed, thus avoiding concerns over impact on the natural landscape. Land constrictions such as straits or inlets can create high velocities at specific sites, which can be captured with the use of turbines.
These turbines can be horizontal, open, or ducted. Stream energy can be used at a much higher rate than wind turbines due to water being more dense than air. Using similar technology to wind turbines converting energy in tidal energy is much more efficient. Close to 10 mph ocean tidal current would have an energy output equal or greater than a 90 mph wind speed for the same size of turbine system. Tidal barrages make use of the potential energy in the difference in height between high and low tides; when using tidal barrages to generate power, the potential energy from a tide is seized through strategic placement of specialized dams. When the sea level rises and the tide begins to come in, the temporary increase in tidal power is channeled into a large basin behind the dam, holding a large amount of potential energy. With the receding tide, this energy is converted into mechanical energy as the water is released through large turbines that create electrical power through the use of generators.
Barrages are dams across the full width of a tidal estuary. Dynamic tidal power is an untried but promising technology t
County Roscommon is a county in Ireland. In the western region, it is part of the province of Connacht, it is the 11th largest Irish county by 27th most populous. Its county town and largest town is Roscommon. Roscommon County Council is the local authority for the county; the population of the county was 64,544 according to the 2016 census. County Roscommon is named after the county town of Roscommon. Roscommon comes from the Irish Ros meaning a wooded, gentle height and Comán, the first abbot and bishop of Roscommon who founded the first monastery there in 550 AD. Roscommon is the eleventh largest of the 32 counties of Ireland by area and the fifth least-populous county in Ireland, it has an area of 984 square miles. Lough Key in north Roscommon is noted for having thirty-two islands; the geographical centre of Ireland is located on the western shore of Lough Ree in the south of the county. Roscommon is the third largest of Connacht's five counties by size and fourth largest in terms of population.
The county borders every other Connacht county – Galway, Mayo and Leitrim, as well as three Leinster counties – Longford and Offaly. In 2008, a news report said that statistically, Roscommon has the longest life expectancy of any county on the island of Ireland. Seltannasaggart, located along the northern border with County Leitrim is the tallest point in County Roscommon measuring to a height of 428 m. There are nine historical baronies in County Roscommon. North Roscommon Boyle. Frenchpark. Roscommon. Castlereagh. Ballintober North. South Roscommon Ballymoe shared with County Galway includes Ballymoe and Glenamaddy. Ballintober South. Athlone. Moycarn. Rathcroghan, near Tulsk, a complex of archaeological sites, the home of Queen Medb, was the seat of Kings of Connacht and to the High Kings of Ireland; this was the starting point of the Táin Bó Cúailnge, or Cattle Raid of Cooley, an epic tale in Irish mythology. The county is home to many prehistoric and British Iron Age ringforts like, Carnagh West Ringfort and Drummin fort.
County Roscommon as an administrative division has its origins in the medieval period. With the conquest and division of the Kingdom of Connacht, those districts in the east retained by King John as "The King's Cantreds" covered County Roscommon, parts of East Galway; these districts were leased to the native kings of Connacht and became the county. In 1585 during the Tudor re-establishment of counties under the Composition of Connacht, Roscommon was established with the South-west boundary now along the River Suck. A "well defined" and "original" fine metal workshop was active in County Roscommon in the 12th century; the Cross of Cong, the Aghadoe crosier, Shrine of the Book of Dimma and Shrine of Manchan of Mohill' are grouped together as having been created by Mael Isu Bratain Ui Echach et al. at the same Roscommon workshop. The workshop has been linked to St. Assicus of Elphin. John O'Donovan and scholar, visited County Roscommon in 1837, while compiling information for the Ordnance Survey.
Entering St Peter's parish in Athlone in June 1837, he wrote, "I have now entered upon a region different from Longford, am much pleased with the intelligence of the people." However, he had major problems with place-names. He wrote, "I am sick to death's door of lochawns, it pains me to the soul to have to make these remarks, but what can I do when I cannot make the usual progress? Here I am stuck in the mud in the middle of Loughs, Turlaghs and Curraghs, the names of many of which are only known to a few old men in their immediate neighbourhood and I cannot give many of them utterance from the manner in which they are spelled." Roscommon is governed locally by the 26-member Roscommon County Council. For general elections, Roscommon forms part of the three-seat Roscommon–Galway constituency. Iarnród Éireann provides Roscommon with freight rail services. Many passenger services to Dublin use Heuston. Athlone is the interchange between the Dublin -- Dublin -- Westport services. There are trains from Sligo on the Dublin–Sligo railway line serving two County Roscommon stations, at Boyle and Carrick-on-Shannon on the line to Dublin Connolly.
Gaelic football is the dominant sport in Roscommon. Roscommon GAA have won 2 All-Ireland Senior Football Championships in 1943 and 1944 and a National Football League Division 1 in 1979 and Division 2 in 2015 and 2018. Roscommon GAA play home games at Dr. Hyde Park. Roscommon has less success in hurling, their main hurling title was the 2007 Nicky Rackard Cup. In order of birth: Charles O'Conor and antiquarian of the O'Conor Don family Matthew O'Conor Don historian born in Ballinagare, Co. Roscommon Arthur French, 1st Baron de Freyne, Member of Parliament and landlord of Frenchpark House Sir John Scott Lillie CB, decorated Peninsular War veteran and political activist in England William Wilde, surgeon and father of Oscar Wilde, born in Castlerea, Co. Roscommon Michael Dockry, member of the Wisconsin State Assembly Thomas Curley, American Civil War colonel and Wisconsin legislator, born in Tremane, near Athleague, Co. Roscommon Henry Gore-Browne, Victoria Cross recipient, born in Co.. Roscommon Luke O'Connor, first soldier t
Shannon Airport is one of Ireland's three primary international airports, along with Dublin and Cork. In 2017, 1.751 million passengers passed through the airport, making it the third-busiest airport in the country after Dublin and Cork. Shannon Airport is located in Shannon, County Clare, serves Limerick, Ennis and the south-west of Ireland; the longest runway in Ireland, at 3,199 metres, is located at Shannon, a designated landing site for the Space Shuttle. In the late 1930s, transatlantic air traffic was dominated by flying boats, a flying boat terminal was located at Foynes on the south side of the Shannon Estuary. However, it was realised that changing technology would require a permanent airport. In 1936, the Government of Ireland confirmed that it would develop a 3.1-square-kilometre site at Rineanna for the country's first transatlantic airport. The land on which the airport was to be built was boggy, on 8 October 1936 work began to drain the land. By 1942 a serviceable airport was named Shannon Airport.
By 1945 the existing runways at Shannon were extended to allow transatlantic flights to land. When World War II ended, the airport was ready to be used by the many new post-war commercial airlines of Europe and North America. On 16 September 1945 the first transatlantic proving flight, a Pan Am DC-4, landed at Shannon from Gander. On 24 October 1945, the first scheduled commercial flight, an American Overseas Airlines DC-4, Flagship New England, stopped at the airport on the New York City–Gander–Shannon–London route. An accident involving President Airlines on 10 September 1961 resulted in the loss of 83 lives; the Douglas DC-6 aircraft crashed into the River Shannon. The number of international carriers rose in succeeding years as Shannon became well known as the gateway between Europe and the Americas. Shannon became the most convenient stopping point after a trip across the Atlantic. Additionally, during the Cold War, many transatlantic flights from the Soviet Union stopped here for refueling, because Shannon was the westernmost non-NATO airport on the European side of the Atlantic.
On September 30, 1994 Shannon was the site of the "circling over Shannon" diplomatic incident involving Boris Yeltsin. Ryanair increased services and passenger numbers at the airport through 2008. In 2007, Shannon carried 3.2 million passengers. However, after a disagreement with the Dublin Airport Authority in 2008, Ryanair announced that the number of based aircraft would reduce from four to one and 150 jobs would be lost. Services were cut by 75% and 32 Ryanair routes from the airport were reduced to eight. CityJet launched a twice-daily route to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport in 2008 when Aer Lingus closed its London Heathrow flights; the company based an Avro RJ85 at Shannon. More services were including a route to London City Airport. In December 2012, it was announced that Shannon Airport would separate from the Dublin Airport Authority, who still own Dublin and Cork airports. On 31 December 2012 at 11:59 pm, Shannon Airport became a publicly owned commercial airport and is now operated and run by the Shannon Airport Authority plc. Shannon announced a target in 2012 to grow its passenger numbers to 2.5 million annually within five years.
However, Shannon has fallen short of its stated targeted figure with just 1.74 million flying through the airport in 2017. In March 2013, the new company appointed Neil Pakey as its first CEO. Traffic figures for June 2013 report an 8% increase on the previous year, the first time a traffic increase has been recorded in three years. On 21 March 2013, Ryanair announced a new twice-weekly route to Alicante, Spain to begin on 5 June for the summer months; that brought Shannon's total to 33 seasonal scheduled summer routes. In August 2013 Aer Lingus announced a 1x weekly service to Lanzarote every Saturday during the winter months using an A320. In October 2013, United Airlines confirmed it will increase capacity by 88% on its Shannon-Chicago route for 2014. In late 2013, Aer Lingus announced 2 new routes to Málaga, Spain and to Bristol, UK. Ryanair announced 8 new routes from Shannon to continental Europe; the new routes began from the start of April 2014, a second Boeing 737-800 was based at Shannon to accommodate the extra 300,000 passengers a year it would bring in.
The destinations announced were Berlin Schonefeld, Memmingen, Warsaw Modlin, Kraków, Nice and Fuerteventura. On 4 July 2014, the "Bank of Ireland Runway Night Run" featured 1,200 people running along Shannon's runway to raise money for charity. In late 2014, Aer Lingus Regional operator Stobart Air said that they would close down their Shannon base in early 2015, they returned in June 2015 operating 6 flights weekly Birmingham service followed by 6 flights weekly Edinburgh service. In late 2015, they announced a new CEO for Matthew Thomas. Ryanair announced that it will be ending its Paris and Memmingen routes in late 2016, it reduced its Manchester and London Stansted routes. Ryanair is aiming for 720,000 passengers in Summer 2017 though that they were close to 800,000 in Summer 2016. In October 2016, SAS announced a new route to Stockholm from August 1, 2017 to October 7, 2017. Shortly after that, Lufthansa announced a weekly service to Frankfurt running from April to October in 2017. In September 2017 Ryanair announced a new Route to Reus.
It will run through summer 2018 operating 2x weekly
Ireland is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, the third-largest in Europe, the twentieth-largest on Earth. Politically, Ireland is divided between the Republic of Ireland, which covers five-sixths of the island, Northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom. In 2011, the population of Ireland was about 6.6 million, ranking it the second-most populous island in Europe after Great Britain. Just under 4.8 million live in the Republic of Ireland and just over 1.8 million live in Northern Ireland. The island's geography comprises low-lying mountains surrounding a central plain, with several navigable rivers extending inland, its lush vegetation is a product of its mild but changeable climate, free of extremes in temperature. Much of Ireland was woodland until the end of the Middle Ages. Today, woodland makes up about 10% of the island, compared with a European average of over 33%, most of it is non-native conifer plantations.
There are twenty-six extant mammal species native to Ireland. The Irish climate is influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and thus moderate, winters are milder than expected for such a northerly area, although summers are cooler than those in continental Europe. Rainfall and cloud cover are abundant; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC. Gaelic Ireland had emerged by the 1st century AD; the island was Christianised from the 5th century onward. Following the 12th century Norman invasion, England claimed sovereignty. However, English rule did not extend over the whole island until the 16th–17th century Tudor conquest, which led to colonisation by settlers from Britain. In the 1690s, a system of Protestant English rule was designed to materially disadvantage the Catholic majority and Protestant dissenters, was extended during the 18th century. With the Acts of Union in 1801, Ireland became a part of the United Kingdom. A war of independence in the early 20th century was followed by the partition of the island, creating the Irish Free State, which became sovereign over the following decades, Northern Ireland, which remained a part of the United Kingdom.
Northern Ireland saw much civil unrest from the late 1960s until the 1990s. This subsided following a political agreement in 1998. In 1973 the Republic of Ireland joined the European Economic Community while the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland, as part of it, did the same. Irish culture has had a significant influence on other cultures in the field of literature. Alongside mainstream Western culture, a strong indigenous culture exists, as expressed through Gaelic games, Irish music and the Irish language; the island's culture shares many features with that of Great Britain, including the English language, sports such as association football, horse racing, golf. The names Éire derive from Old Irish Eriu; this in turn comes from the Proto-Celtic *Iveriu, the source of Latin Hibernia. Iveriu derives from a root meaning'fat, prosperous'. During the last glacial period, up until about 10,000 BC, most of Ireland was periodically covered in ice. Sea levels were lower and Ireland, like Great Britain, formed part of continental Europe.
By 16,000 BC, rising sea levels due to ice melting caused Ireland to become separated from Great Britain. Around 6000 BC, Great Britain itself became separated from continental Europe; the earliest evidence of human presence in Ireland is dated at 10,500 BC, demonstrated by a butchered bear bone found in a cave in County Clare. It is not until about 8000 BC, that more sustained occupation of the island has been shown, with evidence for Mesolithic communities around the island; these Mesolithic communities lived as hunter-gatherers across the island until about 4000 BC. Some time before 4000 BC, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, domesticated animals such as cattle and sheep, large timber building, stone monuments; the earliest evidence for farming in Ireland or Great Britain is from Co.. Kerry, where a flint knife, cattle bones and a sheep's tooth were carbon-dated to c. 4350 BC. Field systems were developed in different parts of Ireland, including at the Céide Fields, preserved beneath a blanket of peat in present-day Tyrawley.
An extensive field system, arguably the oldest in the world, consisted of small divisions separated by dry-stone walls. The fields were farmed for several centuries between 3500 BC and 3000 BC. Wheat and barley were the principal crops; the Bronze Age – defined by the use of metal – began around 2500 BC, with technology changing people's everyday lives during this period through innovations such as the wheel. According to John T. Koch and others, Ireland in the Late Bronze Age was part of a maritime trading-network culture called the Atlantic Bronze Age that included Britain, western France and Iberia, that this is where Celtic languages developed; this contrasts with the traditional view that their origin lies in mainland Europe with the Hallstatt culture. During the Iron Age, a Celtic language and culture emerged in Ireland. How and when the island became Celtic has been debated for close to a century, with the migrations of the Celts being one of the more enduring themes of archaeological and linguistic studies.
The most recent genetic research s
County Limerick is a county in Ireland. It is located in the province of Munster, is part of the Mid-West Region, it is named after the city of Limerick. Limerick City and County Council is the local council for the county; the county's population at the 2016 census was 194,899 of whom 94,192 lived in Limerick City, the county capital. Limerick borders four other counties: Kerry to the west, Clare to the north, Tipperary to the east and Cork to the south, it is the fifth largest of Munster's six counties in size, the second largest by population. The River Shannon flows through the city of Limerick into the Atlantic Ocean at the north of the county. Below the city, the waterway is known as the Shannon Estuary; because the estuary is shallow, the county's most important port is several kilometres west of the city, at Foynes. Limerick City is the county town and is Ireland's third largest city, it serves as a regional centre for the greater Mid-West Region. Newcastle West, Kilmallock & Abbeyfeale are other important towns in the county.
There are fourteen historic baronies in the county. While baronies continue to be defined units, they are no longer used for many administrative purposes, their official status is illustrated by Placenames Orders made since 2003, where official Irish names of baronies are listed under "Administrative units". Clanwilliam - Clann Liam Connello Lower - Conallaigh Íochtaracha Connello Upper - Conallaigh Uachtaracha Coonagh - Uí Chuanach Coshlea - Cois Laoi Coshma - Cois Máighe Glenquin - Gleann an Choim Kenry - Caonraí Kilmallock - Cill Mocheallóg North Liberties - Na Líbeartaí Thuaidh Owneybeg - Uaithne Beag Pubblebrien - Pobal Bhriain Shanid - Seanaid Smallcounty - An Déis Bheag Limerick City is the county capital and is shown in bold. One possible meaning for the county's name in Irish Luimneach is "the flat area". Moreover, the county is ringed by mountains: the Slieve Felims to the northeast, the Galtees to the southeast, the Ballyhoura Mountains to the south, the Mullaghareirk Mountains to the southwest and west.
The highest point in the county is located in its south-east corner at Galtymore, which separates Limerick from County Tipperary. The county is not a a plain, its topography consists of hills and ridges; the eastern part of the county is part of the Golden Vale, well known for dairy produce and consists of rolling low hills. This gives way to flat land around the centre of the county, with the exception being Knockfierna at 288 m high. Towards the west, the Mullaghareirk Mountains push across the county offering extensive views east over the county and west into County Kerry. Volcanic rock is to be found in numerous areas in the county, at Carrigogunnell, at Knockfierna, principally at Pallasgreen/Kilteely in the east, described as the most compact and for its size one of the most varied and complete carboniferous volcanic districts in either Britain and Ireland. Tributaries of the Shannon drainage basin located in the county include the rivers Mulcair, Maigue, Morning Star and the Feale, it is thought that humans had established themselves in the Lough Gur area of the county as early as 3000 BC, while megalithic remains found at Duntryleague date back further to 3500 BC.
The arrival of the Celts around 400 BC brought about the division of the county into petty kingdoms or túatha. From the 4th to the 11th century, the ancient kingdom of the Uí Fidgenti was co-extensive with what is now County Limerick, with some of the easternmost part the domain of the Eóganacht Áine; the establishment of Limerick as a town and base by the Danes in the mid 900's, their alliance with Irish families, including their alliance with Donnubán mac Cathail of the O'Donovans, resulted in significant conflicts with neighbouring clans, principally the O'Briens of Dál gCais, who raided into the Limerick area on a regular basis. The O'Briens retained their political power until late in the 1100s; the establishment of King John's castle in Limerick, the granting of Ui Fidgenti lands to the FitzGeralds, both circa 1200, the resultant competition for Ui Fidgenti lands by other Anglo Norman families, resulted in a transfer of power from the Ui Fidgenti's leading families to the new landholders.
The ancestors of both Michael Collins and the famous O'Connells of Derrynane were among the septs of the Uí Fidgenti. As the Ui Fidgenti were the ruling clan in the Limerick after 400 a.d. the Uí Fidgenti still made a substantial contribution to the population of the central and western regions of County Limerick. Their capital was Dún Eochair, the great earthworks of which still remain and can be found close to the modern town of Bruree, on the River Maigue. Bruree is Fort of the King. Catherine Coll, the mother of Éamon de Valera, was a native of Bruree and this is where he was taken by her brother to be raised. St. Patrick brought Christianity to Limerick area in the 5th Century. Various annals record that St. Patrick quarreled with the chief of the Ui Fidgenti but was embraced by the brother of the chief; the adoption of Christianity resulted in the establishment of important monasteries in Limerick, at Ardpatrick and Kileedy. From this golden age in Ireland of learning and art comes one of Ireland's greatest artifacts, The Ardagh Chalice, a masterpiece of metalwork, found in a west Limerick fort in 1868.
It is believed that the chalice had been
County Westmeath is a county in Ireland. It is part of the Midlands Region, it formed part of the historic Kingdom of Meath. It was named Mide. Westmeath County Council is the administrative body for the county, the county town is Mullingar. At the 2016 census, the population of the county was 88,770. Following the Norman invasion of Ireland, the territory of the Gaelic Kingdom of Meath formed the basis for the Anglo-Norman Lordship of Meath granted by King Henry II of England to Hugh de Lacy in 1172. Following the failure of de Lacy's male heirs in 1241, the Lordship was split between two great-granddaughters. One moiety, a central eastern portion, was awarded to Maud as the liberty of Trim; the liberty and royal county were merged in 1461. While the east of the county was in the English Pale, the west was Gaelicised in the fourteenth century and outside the control of the sheriff of Meath. In 1543, during the Tudor re-conquest of Ireland, the Parliament of Ireland passed an act dividing the county into two, the eastern portion retaining the name Meath and the western portion called Westmeath.
Westmeath is the 20th largest of Ireland's 32 counties by area and the 22nd largest in terms of population. It is the sixth largest of Leinster’s 12 counties in size and eighth largest in terms of population; the Hill of Uisneach in the barony of Moycashel is sometimes regarded as the notional geographical centre of Ireland although the actual geographic centre of Ireland lies in neighbouring County Roscommon. The summit of Mullaghmeen is the highest point in County Westmeath. At just 258 metres this makes it the lowest county top in Ireland; the head office of Westmeath County Council is located in Mullingar. There are 20 councillors; the three electoral areas of Westmeath are Mullingar-Coole and Mullingar-Kilbeggan. The Local Government Act 1898, provided the framework for the establishment of County Councils throughout Ireland; the first meeting of Westmeath County Council was held on 22 April 1899. Westmeath's population growth has been stronger than the national average. After the Great Famine, the population of Westmeath declined dramatically.
It stabilised in the middle of the 20th century, has continued to grow. Westmeath's proximity to Dublin, with good motorway facilities and frequent rail service, has made commuting popular. County Westmeath's population fell in the century following the Great Famine, with many leaving for better opportunities in America; the largest town in the county is Athlone, followed by the County town Mullingar. Westmeath is the largest county by population in the Irish Midlands. Important commercial and marketing centres include Moate, Kinnegad, Delvin, Rochfortbridge and Castlepollard. According to the 2011 census, 51.9% of Westmeath households have at least one Irish speaker. Westmeath is one of the few counties in Ireland where some census records from 1841 are still available; some of the records of that census have been digitised and maintained by the National Archives of Ireland. As of the 2016 census, Westmeath had a population of 88,770, consisting of 44,082 males and 44,668 females; the Central Statistics Office said that despite the overall increase in population, rural population had still fallen.
Development occurred around the major market centres of Mullingar and Kinnegad. Athlone developed due to its military significance, its strategic location on the main Dublin–Galway route across the River Shannon. Mullingar gained considerable advantage from the development of the Royal Canal; the canal facilitated cheap transport of produce to Dublin and Europe. Athlone and Mullingar expanded further with the coming of the Midland Great Western Railway network in the nineteenth century. Tourism in Westmeath is based on its many water amenities; the county lakes include Lough Derravaragh, Lough Ennell, Lough Owel, Lough Lene, Lough Sheelin and Lough Ree. Both the Grand Canal, the Royal Canal flow through Westmeath, the River Shannon has a modern inland harbour in Athlone. In 2017 the largest employment sectors within Westmeath were: Two major "Greenway" projects are intended to improve cycling facilities; the Athone - Mullingar section of the Dublin – Galway Greenway, along the old railway corridor between Athlone and Mullingar, was constructed in 2015.
The Royal Canal Greenway takes tourists from the county boundary to Mullingar, on towards Longford. Those wishing to use the Dublin-Galway Greenway can transfer from the Royal Canal route to the old rail corridor onwards towards Athlone; the development of industry in Westmeath has been based on food processing and consumer products. Whiskey is distilled in Kilbeggan and tobacco is processed in Mullingar; the county has an extensive dairy trade. In recent times, the manufacturer Alkermes has located in Athlone; the eastern part of the county is home to commuters, many of whom work at the technology parks on the western side of Dublin. Mullingar is renowned for the high quality of its veal. Weaned cattle from the west of the Shannon are fattened for market on the lush grasslands of Meath and Westmeath; the cattle are used to maintain grassland to help sustain wildlife in the areas fringing the Bog of Allen. Westmeath is home to many stud farms; the plains of Westmeath, covered in calcium-rich marl, co