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Counties of Ireland
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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.

Table of contents
1 Map
2 Local government
3 Alphabetical list
4 Former counties
5 See also
6 External links


Republic of Ireland

  1. Dublin
  2. Wicklow
  3. Wexford
  4. Carlow
  5. Kildare
  6. Meath
  7. Louth
  8. Monaghan
  9. Cavan
  10. Longford
  11. Westmeath
  12. Offaly
  13. Laois
  14. Kilkenny
  15. Waterford
  16. Cork
  1. Kerry
  2. Limerick
  3. Tipperary
  4. Clare
  5. Galway
  6. Mayo
  7. Roscommon
  8. Sligo
  9. Leitrim
  10. Donegal

Northern Ireland

  1. Fermanagh
  2. Tyrone
  3. Derry/Londonderry
  4. Antrim
  5. Down
  6. Armagh

Local government

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 large counties and two county boroughs (Belfast and Derry) by 26 "single-tier" districts. These cross 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 been subdivided for administrative purposes, producing a total of 34 "county-level" authorities.

Tipperary has long been administered as two counties: Tipperary North Riding and Tipperary South Riding. Dublin, Cork Galway, Limerick City and Waterford are county boroughs 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 Dún Laoghaire - Rathdown, Fingal, and South Dublin. The current pattern of local government was established by Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, although rural districts have been abolished.

Outside the field of local government, however, the "traditional" 32 counties remain in universal use as the basis of local identity and loyalties.

Below is a list of the traditional 32 counties, as created under British rule.

Alphabetical list

County Former names Province Country Local government
Antrim Ulster Northern Ireland
Armagh Ulster Northern Ireland
Carlow Leinster Republic of Ireland
Cavan Ulster Republic of Ireland
Clare Thomond Munster Republic of Ireland
Cork Munster Republic of Ireland Cork city split out
Derry/Londonderry (see Coleraine) Ulster Northern Ireland
Donegal Tyrconnel Ulster Republic of Ireland
Down Ulster Northern Ireland
Dublin Leinster Republic of Ireland split into Dublin City,
Dún Laoghaire - Rathdown,
South Dublin
Fermanagh Ulster Northern Ireland
Galway Connacht Republic of Ireland Galway City separate
Kerry Munster Republic of Ireland
Kildare Leinster Republic of Ireland
Kilkenny Leinster Republic of Ireland
Laois Queen's County, Leix Leinster Republic of Ireland
Letrim Connacht Republic of Ireland
Limerick Munster Republic of Ireland Limerick City split out
Longford Leinster Republic of Ireland
Louth Leinster Republic of Ireland
Mayo Connacht Republic of Ireland
Meath Leinster Republic of Ireland
Monaghan Ulster Republic of Ireland
Offaly King's County Leinster Republic of Ireland
Roscommon Connacht Republic of Ireland
Sligo Connacht Republic of Ireland
Tipperary Munster Republic of Ireland Tipperary North Riding,
Tipperary South Riding
Tyrone Ulster Northern Ireland
Waterford Munster Republic of Ireland Waterford City split out
Westmeath Leinster Republic of Ireland
Wexford Leinster Republic of Ireland
Wicklow Leinster Republic of Ireland

Former counties

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.

See also

External links

Representatives of local government