County Cork

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County Cork (Irish: Contae Chorcaí) is one of the twenty-six counties of the Republic of Ireland, and one of the thirty-two traditional counties of Ireland. The southernmost of the Irish counties, it is also Ireland's largest, and is the second most populous county, with a population of 481,295 in 2006. Named after the city of Cork (Irish: Corcaigh), Cork is nicknamed "The Rebel County" .In recent times, the name has referred to the prominent role Cork played in the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) when it was the scene of most of the fighting; in addition, it was an anti-treaty stronghold during the Irish Civil War (1922–23).

Contents

History

Much of what is now county Cork was once part of the Kingdom of Deas Mumhan (South Munster), anglicised as "Desmond", ruled by the MacCarthy Mór dynasty. After the Norman Invasion in the 12th century, the McCarthy clan were pushed westward into what is now West Cork and County Kerry. Dunlough Castle, standing just north of Mizen Head, is one of the oldest castles in Ireland (A.D. 1207). The north and east of Cork were taken by the Hiberno-Norman FitzGerald dynasty, who became the Earls of Desmond. Cork City was given an English Royal Charter in 1318 and for many centuries was an outpost for Old English culture. The Fitzgerald Desmond dynasty was destroyed in the Desmond Rebellions of 1569–1573 and 1579–83. Much of county Cork was devastated in the fighting, particularly in the Second Desmond Rebellion. In the aftermath, much of Cork was colonised by English settlers in the Plantation of Munster.

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