County Waterford

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County Waterford
Contae Phort Láirge
County Waterford Coat of Arms.png
The Déise
Déisi oc Declán co Bráth  (Old Irish)
"May the Déise remain with Declan forever"
Island of Ireland location map Waterford.svg
Province Munster
Established1207 [1]
County town Waterford
  Type City and County Council
   Dáil constituency Waterford
   EP constituency South
  Total1,857 km2 (717 sq mi)
  Rank 20th
Highest elevation792 m (2,598 ft)
 (2022) [2]
  Rank 20th
  Density68/km2 (180/sq mi)
Time zone UTC±0 (WET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (IST)
Eircode routing keys
E32, E91, X35, X42, X91 (primarily)
Telephone area codes 051, 058 (primarily)
Vehicle index
mark code
W (since 2014)
WD (1987–2013)

County Waterford (Irish : Contae Phort Láirge) is a county in Ireland. It is in the province of Munster and is part of the South-East Region. It is named after the city of Waterford. Waterford City and County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county at large, including the city, was 116,176 according to the 2016 census. [2] The county is based on the historic Gaelic territory of the Déise . There is an Irish-speaking area, Gaeltacht na nDéise, in the south-west of the county.


Geography and political subdivisions

County Waterford has two mountain ranges, the Knockmealdown Mountains and the Comeragh Mountains. The highest point in the county is Knockmealdown, at 794 m (2,605 ft). It also has many rivers, including Ireland's third-longest river, the River Suir (184 km (114 mi)); and Ireland's fourth-longest river, the Munster Blackwater (168 km (104 mi)). There are over 30[ citation needed ] beaches along Waterford's volcanic coastline. [3] A large stretch of this coastline, known as the Copper Coast, has been designated as a UNESCO Geopark, a place of great geological importance. To the west of Dungarvan is the Déise Gaeltacht, an Irish-speaking region comprising the areas of Ring, County Waterford and Old Parish.

Waterford City is the county seat; prior to the merger of the 2 Waterford authorities in June 2014 Dungarvan was the county seat [4] for Waterford County Council.


There are eight historic baronies in the county: Coshmore and Coshbride, Decies-within-Drum, Decies-without-Drum, Gaultiere, Glenahiry, Middlethird, Upperthird and Waterford City.

Largest towns

(2016 census)
1 Waterford 53,504
2 Tramore 10,381
3 Dungarvan 9,227
4 Dunmore East 1,808
5 Portlaw 1,742
6 Lismore 1,374


Ballynageeragh Portal Tomb was built in the 4th millennium BC County Waterford - Ballynageeragh Tomb - 20190917074738.jpg
Ballynageeragh Portal Tomb was built in the 4th millennium BC

County Waterford is colloquially known as "The Déise", pronounced "day-shih" or, in Irish, /dʲe:ʃʲɪ/ (Irish : Na Déise). Some time between the 4th and 8th centuries, an Irish tribe called the Déisi were driven from southern county Meath/north Kildare and moved into the Waterford region, conquering and settling there. The ancient principality of the Déise is today roughly coterminous with the current Roman Catholic Diocese of Waterford and Lismore thus including part of south County Tipperary.

The westernmost of the baronies are Decies-within-Drum and Decies-without-Drum, separated by the Drum-Fineen hills. [11]

Mine workers at Bunmahon, County Waterford c. 1906 Mine workers at Knockmahon Co Waterford Ireland 1900s (6898346820).jpg
Mine workers at Bunmahon, County Waterford c.1906

There are many megalithic tombs and ogham stones in the county. [12] The Viking influence can still be seen with Reginald's Tower, one of the first buildings to use a brick and mortar construction method in Ireland. Woodstown, a settlement dating to the 9th century, was discovered 5.5 kilometers (3.4 miles) west of Waterford city. It was the largest settlement outside Scandinavia and the only large-scale 9th-century Viking settlement discovered to date in Western Europe. Other architectural features are products of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland and its effects.

Local government and politics

As of 1 June 2014, Waterford City and County Council is the local government authority for the local government area of Waterford City and County. The authority was formed following the merger of the local government areas of the county of Waterford and the city of Waterford under the Local Government Reform Act 2014, and succeeded the functions of Waterford City Council and Waterford County Council. [13] The local authority is responsible for certain local services such as sanitation, planning and real-estate development, libraries, the collection of automobile taxation, local roads and social housing.

For elections to Dáil Éireann, the county is represented by the 4-seat constituency of Waterford. [14] For European elections, the city and county are part of the 5-seat South constituency. [15]


Gaeltacht na nDéise is a Gaeltacht area in Co. Waterford, consisting of the parish of An Rinn and An Sean Phobal. Gaeltacht na nDéise is located 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) from the town of Dungarvan, has a population of 1,816 people (Census 2016) and encompasses a geographical area of 62 km2. According to Census 2016 the percentage of daily Irish speakers in Gaeltacht na nDéise was 45.6%. [16]

See also

Counsellors strand Counsellors strand - - 491497.jpg
Counsellors strand

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Cappoquin Town in Munster, Ireland

Cappoquin, also spelt Cappaquin or Capaquin, is a town in west County Waterford, Ireland. It is on the Blackwater river at the junction of the N72 national secondary road and the R669 regional road. It is positioned on a sharp 90-degree bend in the river and lies at the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountains. The town is a few miles from Mount Melleray and Lismore, County Waterford.

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Ring or Ringagonagh is a parish within the Irish-speaking Gaeltacht na nDéise area in County Waterford, Ireland. It lies on a peninsula about eleven kilometres (7 mi) south of Dungarvan. The main settlement is the village of Ring or Ringville, which is within the townland of Ballynagaul.

Tallow, County Waterford Town in County Waterford, Ireland

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Gaeltacht na nDéise Gaeltacht district in Munster, Ireland

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Decies-without-Drum Barony in Munster, Republic of Ireland

Decies-without-Drum is a barony in County Waterford, Republic of Ireland.

Decies-within-Drum Barony in Munster, Republic of Ireland

Decies-within-Drum is a barony in County Waterford, Republic of Ireland.


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  2. 1 2 3 "Census 2016 Sapmap Area: County Waterford City And County". Central Statistics Office (Ireland). Archived from the original on 18 November 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
  3. "Geology of the Copper Coast – Copper Coast Geopark". Copper Coast Geopark. Archived from the original on 1 February 2018. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  4. "Waterford County Council website". Archived from the original on 11 April 2011. Retrieved 9 April 2011.
  5. For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy 14 March 1865.
  6. "Census for post 1821 figures". Archived from the original on 9 March 2005. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  7. Archived 7 May 2016 at the Wayback Machine
  8. "NISRA – Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (c) 2013". 27 September 2010. Archived from the original on 17 February 2012. Retrieved 2014-08-08.
  9. Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A. (eds.). Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press.
  10. Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November 1984). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700–1850". The Economic History Review. 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. hdl: 10197/1406 . Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2009.
  11. Egan, P.M. (20 November 2004) [1893]. "Early Waterford History 2. The Decies". History of Waterford. Archived from the original on 26 May 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008.
  12. "Prehistoric Waterford tombs, dolmens and standing stones". Archived from the original on 29 December 2011. Retrieved 10 April 2011.
  13. Local Government Reform Act 2014 , s. 13: Establishment of local authorities for certain local government areas ( No. 1 of 2014, s. 13 ). Signed on 27 January 2014. Act of the Oireachtas .Retrieved 10 January 2022, from Irish Statute Book .
  14. Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2017 , Schedule ( No. 39 of 2017, Schedule ). Signed on 23 December 2017. Act of the Oireachtas .Retrieved 10 January 2022, from Irish Statute Book .
  15. European Parliament Elections (Amendment) Act 2019, s. 7: Substitution of Third Schedule to Principal Act ( No. 7 of 2019, s. 7 ). Signed on 12 March 2019. Act of the Oireachtas .Retrieved 10 January 2022, from Irish Statute Book .
  16. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 28 July 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

Coordinates: 52°15′N7°30′W / 52.250°N 7.500°W / 52.250; -7.500