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While there’s a great richness of geology in this region, more than anything else a geopark is about people – those who live here now, those who were here during thousands of years, and those who will live and sustain here in future. It’s also about visitors who want to experience and explore our whispering landscape, guth na talún … the voice of our ground.

Community has been the driving force behind the geopark idea. A voluntary organisation GeoTreallús Dhúiche Sheoigheach agus Lochanna an Iarthair (Joyce Country and Western Lakes Geoenterprise) is a company limited by guarantee/CLG set up to represent the interests of about 17 communities and some local NGOs and achieve the goal of a sustainable geopark. Managed by a board with expertise drawn from across the communities and wider experience, it has led preparation of successful funding applications to Geological Survey Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta and Ireland 2040 funds. The current Joyce Country and Western Lakes Geopark Project is supported by these and other collaborating state partners.


The proposed JCWL geopark region covers over 1500 km2 including Lough Carra, Lough Mask and about half of Lough Corrib. It primarily includes the territory and communities around the villages of Ballintubber, Carnacon, Killawalla, Partry, Tourmakeady, Finny, Leenane, Recess/Lough Inagh, Maam, Maam Cross, Cloghbrack, Glencorrib, Corr na Móna, Oughterard, Cross, Clonbur and The Neale. Ballinrobe, Cong and Headford are the only towns. Larger centres of population (outside the territory) including Galway City, Westport and Castlebar are ‘gateways’.