County Galway is a county in the West of Ireland in the province of Connacht. It is named after the city of Galway. Galway County Council is the local authority for the county. There are several Irish-speaking areas in the west of the county. The population of the county is 250,541 according to the 2011 census.
The first inhabitants in the Galway area arrived over 7000 years ago. Shell middens indicate the existence of people as early as 5000 BC. The county originally comprised several kingdoms and territories which predate the formation of the county. These kingdoms included Aidhne, Uí Maine, Maigh Seóla, Conmhaícne Mara, Soghain and Máenmaige. County Galway became an official entity around 1569 AD. In modern times, a number of inhabited islands are also administered by the county; these include Oileáin Árann (Aran Islands) and Inis Bó Fine (Inishbofin).
With the arrival of Christianity many monasteries were built in the county. Monasteries kept written records of events in the area and of its people. These were followed by a number of law-tracts, genealogies, annals and miscellaneous accounts. Extant manuscripts containing references to Galway include: