County Wexford

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County Wexford
Contae Loch Garman
IRL COA County Wexford 3D.svg
The Model County
Exemplar Hiberniae  (Latin)
"An example to Ireland"
"Sampla na hÉireann"
Island of Ireland location map Wexford.svg
Location in Ireland
Coordinates: 52°30′N6°45′W / 52.5°N 6.75°W / 52.5; -6.75 Coordinates: 52°30′N6°45′W / 52.5°N 6.75°W / 52.5; -6.75
Country Ireland
Province Leinster
Dáil Éireann Wexford
EU Parliament South
Established1210 [1]
County town Wexford
  Type County Council
  Total2,367 km2 (914 sq mi)
Area rank 13th
Highest elevation794 m (2,605 ft)
 (2016) [3]
  Rank 14th
  Density63/km2 (160/sq mi)
Time zone UTC±0 (WET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (IST)
Eircode routing keys
Y21, Y25, Y34, Y35 (primarily)
Telephone area codes 051, 052, 053, 056 (primarily)
Vehicle index
mark code

County Wexford (Irish : Contae Loch Garman) is a county in Ireland. It is in the province of Leinster and is part of the South-East Region. Named after the town of Wexford, it was based on the historic Gaelic territory of Hy Kinsella (Uí Ceinnsealaigh), whose capital was Ferns. [4] [5] Wexford County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county was 149,722 at the 2016 census. [3]



Enniscorthy Castle Enniscorthy castle.jpg
Enniscorthy Castle
Wexford town c. 1800. Wexford 1800.jpg
Wexford town c. 1800.

The county is rich in evidence of early human habitation. [6] Portal tombs (sometimes called dolmens) exist at Ballybrittas (on Bree Hill) [7] and at Newbawn [8] and date from the Neolithic period or earlier. Remains from the Bronze Age period are far more widespread. [6] Early Irish tribes formed the Kingdom of Uí Cheinnsealaig, an area that was slightly larger than the current County Wexford.

County Wexford was one of the earliest areas of Ireland to be Christianised, in the early 5th century. Later, from 819 onwards, the Vikings invaded and plundered many Christian sites in the county. [9] Vikings settled at Wexford town near the end of the 9th century. [9]

In 1169, Wexford was the site of the invasion of Ireland by Normans at the behest of Diarmuid Mac Murrough, King of Uí Cheinnsealaig and king of Leinster (Laigin). This was followed by the subsequent colonisation of the country by the Anglo-Normans.

The native Irish began to regain some of their former territories in the 14th century, especially in the north of the county, principally under Art MacMurrough Kavanagh. Under Henry VIII, the great religious houses were dissolved, 1536–41; in County Wexford this included Glascarrig Priory, Clonmines Priory, Tintern Abbey, and Dunbrody Abbey.

On 23 October 1641, a major rebellion broke out in Ireland, and County Wexford produced strong support for Confederate Ireland. Oliver Cromwell and his English Parliamentarian Army arrived in 1649 in the county and captured it. The lands of the Irish and Anglo-Normans were confiscated and given to Cromwell's soldiers as payment for their service in the Parliamentarian Army. At Duncannon, in the south-west of the county, James II, after his defeat at the Battle of the Boyne, embarked for Kinsale and then to exile in France.

County Wexford was the most important area in which the Irish Rebellion of 1798 was fought, during which significant battles occurred at The Battle of Oulart Hill during the 1798 rebellion. Vinegar Hill (Enniscorthy) and New Ross. The famous ballad "Boolavogue" was written in remembrance of the Wexford Rising. At Easter 1916, a small rebellion occurred at Enniscorthy town, on cue with that in Dublin. [10] During World War II, German planes bombed Campile. [11] [12] In 1963 John F. Kennedy, then President of the United States, visited the county and his ancestral home at Dunganstown, near New Ross.

Geography and political subdivisions

Wexford is the 13th largest of Ireland's thirty-two counties in area, and 14th largest in terms of population. [13] It is the largest of Leinster's 12 counties in size, and fourth largest in terms of population. The county is located in the south-east corner of the island of Ireland. It is bounded by the sea on two sides—on the south by the Atlantic Ocean and on the east by St. George's Channel and the Irish Sea. The River Barrow forms its western boundary. The Blackstairs Mountains form part of the boundary to the north, as do the southern edges of the Wicklow Mountains. The adjoining counties are Waterford, Kilkenny, Carlow and Wicklow.

Towns and villages

Mountains and hills

Mount Leinster Mt Leinster.jpg
Mount Leinster

Largely low-lying fertile land is the characteristic landscape of the county. The highest point in the county is Mount Leinster at 795 metres (2,608 ft), [20] in the Blackstairs Mountains in the north-west on the boundary with County Carlow.

Other high points:

Notable hills include: Carrigbyrne Hill; Camross (or Camaross) Hill, 181 m (594 ft); [21] Carrigmaistia, 167 m (548 ft); [21] Bree Hill, 179 m (587 ft); [21] Gibbet Hill; Vinegar Hill; Slievecoiltia; Forth Mountain, 237 m (778 ft); [21] and Tara Hill.

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge, the longest in Ireland, crossing the River Barrow near New Ross Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge.jpg
Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge, the longest in Ireland, crossing the River Barrow near New Ross

Rivers and lakes

The major rivers are the Slaney and the Barrow. At 192 km (119 mi) in length, the river Barrow is the second-longest river on the island of Ireland. [22] Smaller rivers of note are the Owenduff, Pollmounty, Corrock, Urrin, Boro, Owenavorragh (also spelt Ounavarra), Sow and Bann rivers.

There are no significant fresh-water lakes in the county. Small seaside lakes or lagoons exist at two locations – one is called Lady's Island Lake and the other Tacumshin Lake.

The Wexford Cot is a flat-bottomed boat used for fishing on the tidal mudflats in Wexford, [23] also a canoe shaped Punt fitted with a gun, called a Float in Wexford is used traditionally to shoot game birds in the North Slob mud flats. [24]


The Saltee Islands lie 5 km (3 mi) offshore from Kilmore Quay, while the smaller Keeragh Islands are 1.5 km (1 mi) offshore from Bannow.


Curracloe Beach Curracloe dunes and beach along Wexford Bay - - 1873873.jpg
Curracloe Beach

County Wexford is known as Ireland's "sunny southeast" because, in general, the number of hours of sunshine received daily is higher than in the rest of the country. This has resulted in Wexford becoming one of the most popular places in Ireland in which to reside. The county has a mild, but changeable, oceanic climate with few extremes. The North Atlantic Drift, a continuation of the Gulf Stream, moderates winter temperatures. There is a meteorological station located at Rosslare Harbour. [25] January and February are generally the coldest months, with temperatures ranging from 4–9 °C (39–48 °F) on average. [26] July and August are generally the warmest months, with average temperatures ranging from 13–19 °C (55–66 °F) in coastal areas and 12–22 °C (54–72 °F) in inland areas. [27] [28] The prevailing winds are from the south-west. [29] Precipitation falls throughout the year. Mean annual rainfall is 800–1,200 millimetres (31–47 in). [30] Generally, the county receives less snow than more northerly parts of Ireland. Heavy snowfalls are relatively rare, but can occur. The one exception is Mount Leinster, visible from a large portion of the county, which is frequently covered with snow during the winter months. Frost is frequent in winter months, less in coastal areas.


Most, but not all, of the county was covered with the ice sheet during the last Ice age. As the ice retreated, County Wexford would have been one of the first areas to be covered with glacial drift (a mixture of boulders, clay, sand and gravel) that blanketed the existing bedrock. This has led to high quality soils, suitable for a wide range of agriculture. A very detailed soil survey of the county was published in 1964, as part of the 'National Soil Survey of Ireland'. It classifies each area of the county according to its specific soil type. [31]

Most of the county is covered with soil called brown earths , described as well-drained and having a wide use range. After that, gleys (poorly to imperfectly drained with a limited use range) are the next major soil type, primarily located in the south-east of the county and east of Gorey (along the coast). Gleys are dotted elsewhere around the county in small areas, and where they occur they generally form bogland. The last major soil type is brown podzolics , located mainly near the edges of the Blackstairs Mountain range and around Bunclody and in the baronies of East Shelmalier and South Ballaghkeen. Though there are areas covered with other soil types, these are of limited extent.


Common species of tree include oak, ash, sycamore, alder, blackthorn, hawthorn, beech and birch. Less common (but plentiful) are wild cherry and Scots pine (also called red deal). Elm is now far less common, due to the devastating effects of Dutch elm disease. Gorse (or furze) is very common. A priority habitat in Wexford is the grey dune, on which many native wild flora grow, including bee orchid and pyramidal orchid. Despite the designation of much of this habitat as a Special Area of Conservation, it remains threatened by destruction for agricultural intensification[ citation needed ]. There is very little natural forest in the county. Most natural trees and vegetation grow on hedgerows.


South-eastern Wexford is an important site for wild birds—the north side of Wexford Harbour, the North Slob, is home to 10,000 Greenland white-fronted geese each winter (roughly one third of the entire world's population), while in the summer Lady's Island Lake is an important breeding site for terns, especially the roseate tern. The grey heron is also seen.

Throughout the county pheasant, woodpigeon and feral pigeons are widespread. Mute swan, mallard, kingfisher, and owls (the long-eared owl, the short-eared owl, and the barn owl) are less common - but plentiful. Red grouse, once common, is now extremely scarce. The species has been in decline for some decades. Threats include habitat degradation, disease, predation and over-hunting. Red grouse in Ireland are now considered threatened. [32] [33] The corncrake, also once very common, is now almost never seen. Smaller birds—such as crows, swallows, robins, wrens and so on—are very common. The first magpies in Ireland were recorded by Robert Leigh, of Rosegarland, County Wexford, as having appeared in the County of Wexford about 1676. [34] [35] Land mammals include badger, rabbit, otter, hedgehog, red fox, mink, bats, squirrels (red and grey), rats (brown and black - both introduced species), and mice (wood (or field) and house). Two types of hare—the Irish (or mountain) hare and the less common brown (or European) hare—are found. Hare is not nearly as common as rabbit. The stoat (Mustela erminea hibernica) is also reasonably common. Locally the stoat is just as often incorrectly called a weasel.

Only two types of seal are found on County Wexford's coast—Atlantic grey seals are very plentiful in coastal areas, but the slightly smaller common (or harbour) seal is less common, yet plentiful. The small tortoiseshell butterfly (reddish-orange colour, with black markings) is the most common species of butterfly in the county. Various types of moth are also common. The common frog is plentiful, and is the only type of frog found.

Local government

Wexford County Council has thirty-four members. The Wexford constituency is represented by five deputies in Dáil Éireann: James Browne (FF), Paul Kehoe (FG), Brendan Howlin (Lab), Michael W. D'Arcy (FG) and Mick Wallace (Ind).


In 2016, the county had a total population of 149,722 people. [3] Of these, 61.4% (91,969 people) lived in rural areas and 38.6% (57,753 people) lived in urban areas. [36] 83.8% of the population stated their religion as Roman Catholic, 7.1% other religions, and 7.5% stated they had no religion. [3] Between 2006 and 2011, the population increased by 10%, slowing to 3% between 2011 and 2016. [36]

Urban areas and populations

TownPopulation (2016)
Wexford 20,188
Enniscorthy 11,381
Gorey 9,822
New Ross 8,040


The "Pikeman" statue, a 1798 Rebellion memorial in Wexford town. A Wexford county flag has been "added" to the statue; 1798 and the rebel tradition form an important part of Wexford identity. Wexford Pikeman Statue by Oliver Sheppard 2010 09 29.jpg
The "Pikeman" statue, a 1798 Rebellion memorial in Wexford town. A Wexford county flag has been "added" to the statue; 1798 and the rebel tradition form an important part of Wexford identity.

Since 1951, an opera festival, Wexford Festival Opera, takes place every year in the Theatre Royal in Wexford town and runs for several weeks. [39] In 2008, a new Opera House replaced the old one on the same site, once called the Wexford Opera House, but in 2014 being designated as Ireland's National Opera House. It consists of two theatres, the O'Reilly Theatre and the Jerome Hynes Theatre.

There is a renowned singing tradition in County Wexford. Having an abundance of traditional songs, many of which relate to the rebellion of 1798, the county has for many years had a strong presence in the Irish traditional singing scene. Noted singers include All-Ireland Fleadh Champions Paddy Berry, Seamus Brogan and Niall Wall. Paddy Berry has also collected and published a number of songs from Wexford.

Beaches in Curracloe, County Wexford were used to film the opening scenes of the movie Saving Private Ryan , which depicted the D-day assault on Omaha Beach. The Count of Monte Cristo , directed by Kevin Reynolds, was partly filmed in the village of Duncannon in 2000 Duncannon Fort being used for one of the main scenes. [40] The movie Brooklyn (film) was partially filmed in Enniscorthy and featured some of the locals as extras.


Two radio stations are based in the county: South East Radio [41] and Beat FM. [42]

The county's main newspapers include Wexford People , New Ross Standard , Gorey Guardian , and Enniscorthy Echo .

Places of interest

The scenic Bannow Drive, popular amongst tourists, is a signposted route through four Wexford villages: Duncormick, Cullenstown, Bannow and Wellingtonbridge.

Ballyteigue Burrow, located near Duncormick, is one of the finest protected sand dune systems in Ireland. Rich in wildflowers, wildlife and butterflies, this 9 km (6 mile) coastal stretch is a protected nature reserve by the golden sands of Ballyteigue Bay, with spectacular scenery.

The Hook Peninsula is noted for its many beaches and spectacular scenery. It features the medieval Hook Head lighthouse and the historic townland of Loftus Hall.

Popular beaches are located at Courtown, Curracloe, Carnsore Point, Duncannon and Rosslare Strand.

Other places of interest include:



Cattle near Duncormick Cattle near Duncormick.JPG
Cattle near Duncormick

The economy is chiefly agricultural. Cattle, sheep, pig rearing and some horse breeding are the main types of husbandry practised. Poultry rearing, once popular, has very much declined. Wheat, barley, rapeseed, and oats are grown, as are potatoes. Sugar beet is no longer grown due to the withdrawal of EU subsidies. The numbers involved in farming have been declining for many years and many of the seasonal workers are now eastern Europeans. Mushrooms are also grown indoors. Tomatoes are grown under glass, for example at Campile.

Wexford strawberries are famous and can be bought in shops and wayside stalls throughout the summer. Every year, near the end of June, a 'Strawberry Fair' Festival takes place in the town of Enniscorthy, and a Strawberry Queen is crowned. Dairy farming forms an important part of the agricultural industry. Locally produced milk is on sale in many supermarkets. Wexford Irish Cheddar is a brand, and Carrigbyrne, a full-flavoured soft cheese, is produced near New Ross.


Evergreen tree species are extensively cultivated, especially in more recent years—Norway spruce and Sitka spruce are the most common varieties planted. These are generally sown on poorer quality soils (mainly in bogs and on hills or mountainsides). A small amount of deciduous trees are also planted, though these require better soils.


Silver was once mined at Clonmines—primarily in Tudor times. Lead was mined at Caim, 1818 - c. 1850—this mine also contains zinc; the two are usually found together. Copper ore (malachite) is found at Kerloge, just south of the town of Wexford. Iron is found in small quantities at Courtown Harbour. The county is not noted for mineral reserves. No significant mining activity is currently practised, with the exception of quarrying for stone. In 2007, a significant oil find was made 60 km (37 mi) off Hook Head in County Wexford. [47]


Ballywater Wind Farm, near Kilmuckridge - the largest wind farm in County Wexford (consisting of 21 wind turbines). IMG WindfarmKilmuck1920.jpg
Ballywater Wind Farm, near Kilmuckridge - the largest wind farm in County Wexford (consisting of 21 wind turbines).

Carnsore Point made the national headlines in the late 1970s after a proposal was made to build a nuclear energy plant there; the plans were abandoned after extensive protests from the public, due to environmental and health concerns. [48] Great Island Power Station opened in 1967 and was operated by the Electricity Supply Board (ESB) until it was sold to Endesa in January 2009. [49] It is an electricity-generating station fueled by heavy fuel oil and rated at 240 MW. [50] It is located at the confluence of the rivers Barrow and Suir, near Campile. Before its sale, the station was scheduled to close by 2010. [51] [52] Endesa propose building a 430 MW combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) gas fired plant on the site. [50] The project would need a new 44.5 km (27.7 mi) gas pipeline from the existing transmission network at Baunlusk, 6 km (3.7 mi) south of Kilkenny City. [53] A wind farm has now been built on the site, featuring 14 wind turbines generating electricity. It was completed in November 2002 and was the first wind farm on the east coast of Ireland. Wind farms now exist at a few other locations in the county, such as Ballywater Wind Farm, at Cahore (near Kilmuckridge), on the county's east coast, and Richfield wind farm, located in the southeast of the county.


Sport and events

Gaelic games

In recent years the county Football team has been making rapid advances. Camogie, a women's version of hurling, is also played, and Wexford won the All Ireland in 2007, 2010, 2011 and 2012. Wexford Park is the county's main GAA pitch, holding 25,000 supporters. Also, handball is played on a limited basis; there are a number of handball alleys located throughout the county.

As a county, Wexford are most noted for hurling have won the Leinster Senior Hurling Championships a total of 21 times, first in 1890 and most recently in 2019.

In the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championships, Wexford have won 6 times, first in 1910 and most recently in 1996, beating Limerick in the final.


Wexford Youths F.C., formed 2007, renamed as Wexford FC in 2017, is the major football club in the county, currently playing in the League of Ireland First Division.


The colourful lodge at the entrance to Rathaspeck Manor golf course Rathaspeck Manor gate lodge.jpg
The colourful lodge at the entrance to Rathaspeck Manor golf course

There are numerous golf clubs in the county - including Rosslare (a Links course), [56] and Enniscorthy. [57] Two more are located near Gorey - Ballymoney Golf Club and Courtown Golf Club - are 18 hole golf courses. [58] Bunclody Golf and Fishing Club, boasting Europe's only golf lift, is situated just inside County Carlow. [59] There are also a few others. New Ross Golf Club, however, is actually located in County Kilkenny - about 1 km (1,000 yards) from New Ross town. [60]

There are also many par-3 courses in the county, such as Scarke Golf Course & Driving Range, [61] located about 2 km (1.2 mi) east of New Ross, the 'Abbey Par 3' course, at Winningtown, Fethard-on-Sea, Blackwater Par 3 Golf Course, [62] Kilnew, Blackwater, located a few kilometres northeast of Wexford town, Garrylough Golf Course and Driving Range, Screen, and Rathaspeck Manor Golf Course, Rathaspeck, near Rosslare (there are also few Par-4 holes on this course). There are also a number of other Par-3 courses in the county.

The Marina at Kilmore Quay. KilmoreMarina.JPG
The Marina at Kilmore Quay.


Much maritime activity takes place - especially at Kilmore Quay and Slade, but also on a smaller scale at many other locations. Common fish species include herring, mackerel, cod, monkfish, whiting, bass, perch, gurnard, haddock, mullet, pollock, John Dory, sole, conger eel, shad, salmon, trout, pike, carp, and tench. Shellfish include mussels, cockles, periwinkles, clams, and oysters.


Wexford Racecourse (horse racing) is located at Wexford town [63] and there is a Greyhound Racing track at Enniscorthy. [64]


See also

Related Research Articles

Wexford Place in Leinster, Ireland

Wexford is the county town of County Wexford, Ireland. Wexford lies on the south side of Wexford Harbour, the estuary of the River Slaney near the southeastern corner of the island of Ireland. The town is linked to Dublin by the M11/N11 National Primary Route; and to Rosslare Europort, Cork and Waterford by the N25. The national rail network connects it to Dublin and Rosslare Europort. It had a population of 20,188 according to the 2016 census.

New Ross Town in Leinster, Ireland

New Ross is a town in southwest County Wexford, Ireland. It is located on the River Barrow, near the border with County Kilkenny, and is around 20 kilometres (12 mi) northeast of Waterford. In 2016 it had a population of 8,040 people, making it the fourth-largest town in the county.

Arklow Town in Leinster, Ireland

Arklow is a town in County Wicklow on the east coast of Ireland. The town is overlooked by Ballymoyle Hill. It was founded by the Vikings in the ninth century. Arklow was the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the 1798 rebellion. Its proximity to Dublin led to it becoming a commuter town with a population of 13,163 as of the 2016 census.

Gorey Town in Leinster, Ireland

Gorey is a market town in north County Wexford, Ireland. It is beside the main M11 Dublin to Wexford road. The town is also connected to the railway network along the same route. Local newspapers include the Gorey Guardian.

Enniscorthy Town in Leinster, Ireland

Enniscorthy is the second-largest town in County Wexford, Ireland. At the 2016 census, the population of the town and environs was 11,381. The town is located on the picturesque River Slaney and in close proximity to the Blackstairs Mountains and Ireland's longest beach, Curracloe. The town is twinned with Gimont, France. The Placenames Database of Ireland sheds no light on the origins of the town's name. It may refer either to the "Island of Corthaidh" or the "Island of Rocks". The cathedral of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ferns is located in the town as well as an array of other historical sites such as Enniscorthy Castle and the key battle site of the 1798 Rebellion.

Rosslare Harbour Village in Ireland

The village of Rosslare Harbour, also known as Ballygeary, grew up to serve the needs of the harbour of the same name, first developed in 1906 by the Great Western Railway and the Great Southern and Western Railway to accommodate steamferry traffic between Great Britain and Ireland. This port also serves France and Spain, traffic is mainly roll-on roll-off (RoRo). Rosslare Harbour railway station opened on 30 August 1906.

Rosslare Strand Village in Leinster, Ireland

Rosslare Strand, or simply Rosslare, is a village and seaside resort in County Wexford, Ireland. The name Rosslare Strand is used to distinguish it from the nearby community of Rosslare Harbour, site of the Rosslare Europort.

Bunclody Town in Leinster, Ireland

Bunclody, formerly Newtownbarry, is a small town on the River Slaney in Wexford, Ireland. It is located near the foot of Mount Leinster. Most of the town is in County Wexford; a small area at the north end of town is in County Carlow. Bunclody has received a number of high scores in the Tidy Towns competition. The town is known for the "Streams of Bunclody Festival" held during the month of July.

N30 road (Ireland)

The N30 road is a national primary road in Ireland. It connects the N25 road and M11 motorway, providing a link running east-northeast through County Wexford, between New Ross and Enniscorthy. This provides for a more direct national route between the two towns, as the N25 and N11 both run to Wexford town, eastwards from New Ross and southwards from Enniscorthy respectively.

Wexford railway station

Wexford O'Hanrahan railway station is a railway station located in Wexford Town in County Wexford, Ireland.

Gorey railway station

Gorey railway station is a railway station located in Gorey, County Wexford, Ireland.

Campile Village in Leinster, Ireland

Campile is a small village situated in County Wexford in the south of Ireland. It is located fourteen kilometres outside the town of New Ross. As of the 2016 census, Campile village had a population of 448 people.

Inch, County Wexford Town in Leinster, Ireland

Inch is located in County Wexford, Ireland on the R772 road between Arklow and Gorey. In September 2007 Inch was bypassed, having formerly been on the N11 Dublin to Wexford road. There is a creamery in Inch run by Glanbia.

Tara Hill, County Wexford

Tara Hill is an isolated hill and associated village near the Irish Sea coast in north County Wexford, Ireland. Though only 253 metres high, it dominates the landscape of northeast Wexford. It provides extensive views of the Wexford coast line, from Courtown harbour to Castletown.

Duncormick Village in Leinster, Ireland

Duncormick or Duncormac is a rural village and surrounding community located in County Wexford, Ireland. At the time of the 2016 census, the village of Duncormick had a population of 116 people. The village is 18 kilometres (11 mi) from Wexford Town, close to the fishing village of Kilmore Quay which is one of the largest fishing harbours in Ireland. Duncormick is sometimes used to refer not only to a village, but also to the rural area surrounding it.

History of County Wexford

County Wexford is a county located in the south-east of Republic of Ireland, in the province of Leinster. It takes its name from the principal town, Wexford, named 'Waesfjord' by the Vikings – meaning 'inlet (fjord) of the mud-flats' in the Old Norse language. In pre-Norman times it was part of the Kingdom of Uí Cheinnselaig, with its capital at Ferns.

Foulkesmill Village in Leinster, Ireland

Foulkesmill or Foulkesmills is a small village located in the south of County Wexford, Ireland.

Bannow Village in Leinster, Republic of Ireland

Bannow is a village and civil parish lying east of Bannow Bay on the south-west coast of County Wexford, Ireland. In modern times the main settlement is the village of Carrig-on-Bannow. In Norman times there was a borough called Bannow on Bannow Island at the mouth of the Bay. This town has since disappeared, probably due to the silting up of the natural harbour channels in the 14th century, and the former island is now attached to the rest of the parish.

The High Sheriff of Wexford was the British Crown's judicial representative in County Wexford, Ireland from the 16th century until 1922, when the office was abolished in the new Irish Free State and replaced by the office of Wexford County Sheriff. The sheriff had judicial, electoral, ceremonial and administrative functions and executed High Court Writs. In 1908, an Order in Council made the Lord-Lieutenant the Sovereign's prime representative in a county and reduced the High Sheriff's precedence. However the sheriff retained his responsibilities for the preservation of law and order in the county. The usual procedure for appointing the sheriff from 1660 onwards was that three persons were nominated at the beginning of each year from the county and the Lord Lieutenant then appointed his choice as High Sheriff for the remainder of the year. Often the other nominees were appointed as under-sheriffs. Sometimes a sheriff did not fulfil his entire term through death or other event and another sheriff was then appointed for the remainder of the year. The dates given hereunder are the dates of appointment. All addresses are in County Wexford unless stated otherwise.


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