Contae Phort Láirge
|o Type||City and County Council|
|o Total||1,857 km2 (717 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||792 m (2,598 ft)|
|o Density||63/km2 (160/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC±0 (WET)|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC+1 (IST)|
|Eircode routing keys|
E32, E91, X35, X42, X91 (primarily)
|Telephone area codes||051, 058 (primarily)|
|W (since 2014)|
County Waterford (Irish: Contae Phort Láirge) is a county in Ireland. It is in the province of Munster and is part of the South-East Region. It is named after the city of Waterford. Waterford City and County Council is the local authority for the county. The population of the county at large, including the city, was 116,176 according to the 2016 census. The county is based on the historic Gaelic territory of the Déise. There is an Irish-speaking area, Gaeltacht na nDéise, in the south-west of the county.
County Waterford has two mountain ranges, the Knockmealdown Mountains and the Comeragh Mountains. The highest point in the county is Knockmealdown, at 794 m (2,605 ft). It also has many rivers, including Ireland's third longest river, the River Suir (184 km (114 mi)); and Ireland's fourth longest river, the Munster Blackwater (168 km (104 mi)). There are over 30 beaches along Waterford's volcanic 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.
County Waterford is colloquially known as "The Déise", pronounced "day-shih" or, in Irish, /d?e:/ (Irish: An Déise). Some time between the 4th and 8th centuries, a tribe of native Gaelic people called the Déisi were driven from southern county Meath/north Kildare, conquering and settling there. The ancient principality of the Déise is today roughly coterminous with the current Roman Catholic Diocese of Waterford and Lismore thus including part of south County Tipperary.
The westernmost of the baronies are "Decies within Drum" and "Decies without Drum", separated by the Drum-Fineen hills.
There are many megalithic tombs and ogham stones in the county. The Viking influence can still be seen with Reginald's Tower, one of the first buildings to use a brick and mortar construction method in Ireland. Woodstown, a settlement dating to the 9th century was discovered 5.5 kilometres west of Waterford city. It was the largest settlement outside Scandinavia and the only large-scale 9th-century Viking settlement discovered to date in Western Europe. Other architectural features are products of the Anglo-Norman invasion of Ireland and its effects.
As of 1 June 2014, Waterford City and County Council is the local government authority for Waterford. The authority was formed following the merger of Waterford City Council and Waterford County Council. The merger occurred following the Local Government Reform Act 2014. Each local authority ranks equally as first level local administrative units of the NUTS 3 South-East Region for Eurostat purposes. There are 31 LAU 1 entities in the Republic of Ireland. The local authority is responsible for certain local services such as sanitation, planning and real-estate development, libraries, the collection of automobile taxation, local roads and social housing.
The county is part of the South constituency for the purposes of European elections. For elections to Dáil Éireann, the county is part of two constituencies: Waterford and Tipperary South. Together they return 7 deputies (TDs) to the Dáil. The Electoral (Amendment) Act 2009 defines the Waterford constituency as "The county of Waterford, except the part thereof which is comprised in the constituency of Tipperary South; and the city of Waterford."
Gaeltacht na nDéise is a Gaeltacht area in Co. Waterford consisting of the parish of An Rinn and An Sean Phobal. Gaeltacht na nDéise is located 10 km from the town of Dungarvan, has a population of 1,784 people (Census 2011) and encompasses a geographical area of 62 km2. According to the Comprehensive Linguistic Study of the use of Irish in the Gaeltacht (Revised), the percentage of daily Irish speakers in Gaeltacht na nDéise was 46.04% (2014).