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Alexander Nimmo County Galway Ireland
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Alexander Nimmo   ~   Clifden

Alexander Nimmo, pioneering Scottish engineer, came to Ireland in 1811 and remained in the country until his death in 1832.
During this time he was employed by a number of government bodies on various key projects throughout the country: he conducted surveys for the Bog Commission in Kerry and Galway, he surveyed two-thirds of the coastline for the Fishery Board.
Nimmo's Pier Galway City Ireland
He directed the construction of two hundred and forty-three miles of road in the Western District, and supervised the erection of over forty piers along the west coast.

Western District ran from Sligo Bay to Galway Bay, encompassing counties Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon, and was set up in response to calls for relief during the famine of 1822. The roads and piers were started as public works in the same year and were ultimately responsible for the opening up of remote districts such as Connemara and Erris. The works to a great extend were financed by the government and brought large-scale employment to the poor. But more significantly they left permanent improvements in their wake.

From 1822 and 1831, Alexander Nimmo had full responsibility for public works in the Western District. It was he who chose the site for the piers and the direction the roads were to take. The choices made by Nimmo at this time shaped the landscape we recognize today and resulted in the development of many of today's villages and coastal communities. His choices also determined which districts were marginalized and which were developed. Nimmo's decisions would inevitably bring him into conflict with local interests groups, landed proprietors and the Irish Administration in Dublin Castle and were a contributory factor in his eventual removal from the West in 1831.

Alexander Nimmo & The Western District seeks to provide the reader with the background to Nimmo's work in Ireland; to demonstrate the conditions under which he worked in the West, the infrastructure (or lack of it) that existed prior to his arrival, and the impact that his work had on the coastal regions in particular. The book outlines the material available to Nimmo when he embarked on his coastal survey, and the contemporary assumptions and ideas that may well have influenced his findings and recommendations.

Nimmo's remarkable reports to the Fishery Board on the coast from Sligo Bay to Galway Bay provide an invaluable picture of conditions on the West coast of Ireland at a time when relatively few travellers documented the region and are reproduced in their entirety in the appendices to this book. The book also carries Nimmo's drawings of his piers, several maps of his roads, along with early maps of the five counties that made up the Western District. Charts of individual bays and sections of the coast are also reproduced from his chart of the Irish coast, first published in 1832.


Towns & Localities in County Galway

 Aran Islands | Athenry | Ballinasloe | Ballygar | Barna | Carna | Carraroe | Claregalway | Clarinbridge | Clifden | Clonbur | Corofin
Connemara | Corrandulla | Dunmore | Galway City | Glenamaddy | Gort | Headford | Kinvara | Leenane | Loughrea | Milltown | Monivea
 Mountbellew | Moycullen | Oranmore | Oughterard | Portumna | Renvyle | Salthill | Spiddal | Tuam | Turloughmore | Williamstown

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