Counties of the Republic of Ireland

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The Republic of Ireland has 26 counties. They are in essence a part of the system of counties which had been developed across the British Isles by the Middle Ages, and which are the oldest extant national divisions in the world.

Where a distinction has to be made with statutory "counties" so called for administrative purposes, the counties are variously known as historic counties, traditional counties or ancient or geographical counties[1].

All of the Irish counties have an existence stretching back to the Middle Ages. They have no administrative function, existing as geographical and cultural areas. In this time many activities many activities and much social understanding and local identity has grown up intertwined with the counties, and so they have become a vital part of Irish culture.

From the Middle Ages up to today, administrative functions have been carried on using the counties' boundaries or approximations to them, and so centuries of public records have been organised county by county, for which reason an understanding of the counties is vital for genealogical and historic research.

List of the counties

Name Area (sq m) Population Province Principal towns in the county
County Carlow 346 54,612 Leinster Carlow, Bagenalstown
County Cavan 746 73,183 Ulster Cavan, Bailieborough, Virginia
County Clare 1,332 117,196 Munster Ennis, Kilkee, Kilrush, Shannon
County Cork 2,896 Munster Cork, Kinsale, Skibbereen, Youghal
County Donegal 1,877 161,137 Ulster Ballyshannon, Buncrana, Bundoran, Letterkenny
County Dublin 356 1,185,821 Leinster Dublin, Dún Laoghaire, Swords, Tallaght
County Galway 2,374 Connaught Galway, Ballinasloe, Loughrea, Tuam
County Kerry 1,856 145,502 Munster Killarney, Listowel, Tralee
County Kildare 654 210,312 Leinster Athy, Kildare, Leixlip, Naas, Newbridge
County Kilkenny 800 95,419 Leinster Kilkenny, Urlingford
County Laois 664 80,559 Leinster Portlaoise, Mountmellick
County Leitrim 614 31,796 Connaught Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim
County Limerick 1,064 134,703 Munster Limerick
County Longford 421 39,000 Leinster Longford
County Louth 319 122,897 Leinster Dundalk, Ardee, Drogheda
County Mayo 2,157 130,638 Connaught Castlebar, Ballina, Westport
Meath 904 184,135 Leinster Navan, Kells, Trim
County Monaghan 500 60,483 Ulster Monaghan, Ballybay, Carrickmacross, Castleblayney, Clones
County Offaly 773 76,687 Leinster Tullamore, Birr, Edenderry
County Roscommon 984 64,065 Connaught Roscommon, Athlone, Boyle
County Sligo 710 65,393 Connaught Sligo
County Tipperary 1,662 158,754 Munster Clonmel, Carrick-on-Suir, Cashel, Nenagh, Templemore, Thurles, Tipperary
County Waterford 717 67,063 Munster Waterford, Dungarvan, Lismore, Tramore
Westmeath 710 86,164 Leinster Mullingar, Athlone
County Wexford 914 145,320 Leinster Wexford, Enniscorthy, Gorey, New Ross
County Wicklow 783 136,640 Leinster Arklow, Bray, Greystones

See also

Outside links


  1. Census Report, 1891 (General Register Office)