County Waterford

County Waterford

Waterford is a maritime county in the province of Munster.

Covering 716 square miles , Waterford has a population of over 110,000.

The  county  is bounded on the north by the River Suir, on the east by Waterford Harbour, and on the south by the Celtic Sea.  The Knockmeal down (2,609 feet) and the Comeragh/Monavallagh mountains on its western boundary provide dramatic scenery.  Waterford has many megalithic tombs, including Harristown near the fishing port of Dunmore East are the county’s most popular summer resorts.  Ardmore has an elegant twelfth-century round tower and cathedral, built on a site founded by St. Declan, one of the four saints reputed to have been in Ireland before St. Patrick.   Waterford was the ancient territory known as the Decies (Deise), some of whose people crossed the Irish Sea and settled in Wales in the fifth century.  The area around Ring (An Rinn) is an Irish speaking, or Gaeltacht, area.  The name Waterford derives from the ninth-century Viking name for the harbor – Vethrafjorthr in old Norse.  Its Irish name is Port Lairge.  The city’s most prominent monument is Reginald’s Tower on the Quays, which local tradition dates to 1003.

Since 1783, Waterford has been a center for glass-making and its handcrafted Waterford Crystal ranks among the most famous in the world.  Other industries in the county are dairy farming and crop production, electronics, and pharmaceuticals.  Although Waterford City’s population makes up almost half of the county’s total, the county capital is the much smaller town of Dungarvan.  Waterford City has an annual Light Opera Festival.

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