County Waterford

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County Waterford (Irish: Contae Phort Láirge) is one of the twenty-six counties of the Republic of Ireland, and also one of the thirty-two counties of Ireland, located within the province of Munster. It was named after the city of Waterford (which derives from the Old Norse name Veðrafjǫrðr or Vedrarfjord). Dungarvan is the administrative centre of County Waterford. Waterford is the 21st largest of Ireland’s 32 counties in area and 20th largest in terms of population[1]. It is the smallest of Munster’s 6 counties in size and smallest in terms of population.

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Geography

County Waterford has two mountain ranges, the Knockmealdown Mountains and the Comeragh Mountains. The highest point in the county is Knockmealdown, at 794m. It also has many rivers, including Ireland's third longest river, the River Suir (184 km); and Ireland's fourth longest river, the Munster Blackwater (168 km). There are over 30[citation needed] beaches along Waterford's volcanic[citation needed] coast line. A large stretch of this coastline, known as the Copper Coast has been designated as a UNESCO Geopark, a place of great geological importance. The area around Ring (An Rinn) is a Gaeltacht, an Irish-speaking area.

Déise

County Waterford is known locally as "The Déise" (An Déise). Some time between the 4th and 8th centuries, a tribe of native Gaelic people called the Déisi were driven from the southern parts of the country, conquering and settling here. The ancient principality of the Déise is today roughly coterminous with the current Roman Catholic Diocese of Waterford and Lismore. The Deise has a rich history from megalithic tombs and ogham stones, to Vikings, to remnants of English occupancy, including the Gaulstown dolmen, Reginalds Tower and the Ballysaggartmore Towers respectively. The people that live in the Déise today are known to thrive on Irish traditions such as hurling and gaelic football and Irish traditional music. The westernmost of the baronies of county Waterford are "Decies within Drum" and "Decies without Drum", separated by the Drum-Fineen hills.[2]

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