Counties of Ireland
Ireland is often referred to as the 32 counties, with its two states, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, being nicknamed respectively the Six Counties and the 26 Counties. The counties were in fact a creation of British rule in Ireland and were first set up in the 19th century to provide a framework for local government. Subsequently adopted by sporting and cultural organisations such as the Gaelic Athletic Association, which organises its activities on county lines, today they attract strong loyalties, particularly in the sporting field.
|Map of Ireland with numbered counties||Republic of Ireland|
Some of the 32 counties are no longer used for local government purposes, although unlike the Counties of England, the Republic's counties have merely been subdivided.
In Northern Ireland, a major re-organisation of local government in 1973 replaced the six traditional counties and two county boroughs (Belfast and Derry) by 26 "single-tier" districts, which cross the traditional county boundaries. The six counties and two county-boroughs remain in use for purposes such as Lieutenancy.
In the Republic of Ireland, six of the original 26 counties have more than one local authority area, producing a total of 34 "county-level" authorities.
Tipperary has long been administered in two parts: North Tipperary and South Tipperary. The cities of Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford have "city councils", previously as "corporations", and are administered separately from the counties bearing those names.
The remaining rural part of County Dublin was split in 1994 for administrative purposes into Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, and South Dublin. The current pattern of local government was established by Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, since amended many times, including the abolition of rural districts.
Outside the field of local government, the "traditional" 32 counties remain in universal use as the basis of local identity and loyalties. Electoral areas in the Republic of Ireland also mostly follow county boundaries - called "constituencies" in accordance with Irish law - maintaining links to the county system is a mandatory consideration in the re-organisation of constituency boundaries. This system usually results in more populated counties having several constituencies - while others, such as Sligo and Leitrim, constitute a single constituency of two counties.
Below is a list of the traditional 32 counties, as created under British rule.
Former counties include: County Coleraine which formed the basis of County Londonderry, and Nether and Upper Tyrone which were merged at that time; County Desmond which was split between Counties Cork and Kerry; and the County of Caterlaugh occupying the southern part of what is now County Wicklow.
- List of Irish counties by population
- List of Irish counties by area.
- Provinces of Ireland
- Districts of Northern Ireland
- Irish Vehicle Registration Plates
- Irish topics
- Central Statistics Office - 2002 census results
- Flags of Ireland - includes county flags
- Flags of the World - Ireland - includes more flags
Representatives of local government
- Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland
- General Council of County Councils
- Local Authority Members Associationde:Gliederung Irlands