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County Down
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County Down

County Down
Area: 2,448 km²
Population: 454,000 (estimate)
Province: Ulster

County Down, (An Dśn in Irish) is one of the six counties of Northern Ireland, covering an area of 2,448 km² (945 square miles). The estimated population in 1992 was 416,600, a more recent figure puts it at 454,000.

The county borders County Antrim and County Armagh. The county town is Downpatrick. Other important towns include (in no particular order) Bangor, Newtownards, Portaferry, Newry, Newcastle, Holywood, Comber, Donaghadee, Hillsborough and Saintfield. The county colours, as used on flags at inter-county sporting events, are red and black.

County Down is where, in the words of the famous song by Percy French, "the mountains of Mourne sweep down to the sea", and the granite Mourne mountains continue to be renowned for their beauty. Slieve Donard, at 848 m (2,796 feet), is the highest peak in the Mournes (and in Northern Ireland).

Down is also home to the Northern Ireland Aquarium, located in Portaferry, on the shores of Strangford Lough, on the Ards Peninsula.

The Clanrye and Lagan rivers flow through the county.

An area of County Down is known as Brontė Country, after Patrick Brontė (originally Prunty) -- father of Anne, Charlotte, and Emily Brontė -- who was born in this region.

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Counties of Ireland
Republic of Ireland: Carlow | Cavan | Clare | Cork | Donegal | Dublin | Galway | Kerry | Kildare | Kilkenny | Laois | Leitrim | Limerick | Longford | Louth | Mayo | Meath | Monaghan | Offaly | Roscommon | Sligo | Tipperary (North, South) | Waterford | Westmeath | Wexford | Wicklow
Northern Ireland: Antrim | Armagh | Derry/Londonderry | Down | Fermanagh | Tyrone
Provinces of Ireland: Connacht | Leinster | Munster | Ulster