from Samuel Lewis' Topographical
Waterford is one of the
six counties in the province of Munster. It is a coastal county
in the southeast of the country. The name waterford is derived
from the Danish Vadrefjord (the sea inlet of the god Vadre
or Odin), the Irish name is Port Lairge, the county has an
area of 1,838 sq. Km. The Atlantic Ocean forms the county's
southern boundary. Wexford lies to the east, Kilkenny and
Limerick to the north, and Kerry to the west. The greatest
distances from east to west are 80 kilometers, and 40 kilometers
from north to south. The largest towns are Waterford, Dungarvan,
Tramore, Portlaw, Lismore and Dunmore East.
Nearly half of the population
lives in and around Waterford city, which is the fifth largest
city in the Irish Republic.
The northwestern part of the county lying
on sandstone is is mountainous rising to more than 700 metres (2296
Ft) and. The Comeragh and Monavullagh mountains are entirely within
waterford but the Knockmealdown Mountains are partly in Tipperary.
The northern flanks of the Comeraghs drop to the valley of the River
Suir. The Suir forms much of the northern boundary of the county
before entering the long inlet of Waterford Harbour, which is the
The lowland of the east lie mostly on volcanic
rocks, sandstone, shale, , and
slate. The west of the county is mainly sandstone, while the valley
which runs from Dungarvan, between the Knockmealdowns
to the north and the Drum Hills to the south, lies on limestone.
The River Blackwater enters the county from the west along this
valley but turns south at Cappoquin. It is joined by the River Bride
before discharging into Youghal Bay.
English is the everyday language of almost
all people. People in the Gaeltacht area of Ring speak Irish. Ring
is a small coastal district near Dungarvan with a population of
about 1,400. Children visit the district to learn Irish. The city
of waterford has a strong musical tradition, which is continued
in its annual world famous Opera Festival.
Only a seventh of its working people are employed
in agriculture. The land is fertile, and farms are amongst the largest
in Ireland, averaging 30 hectares. Dairying and cattle production are
the two leading types of farming. About one sixth of the land is under
arable crops, these are mainly feeding barley, potatoes, sugar beet, and
wheat. As is the norm in the rest of the country sheep are reared on the
higher ground. Manufacturing is very important, it accounts for about
30% of employment. The county is famous for the manufacture of the crystal
which bears its name, waterford crystal is exported across the world
and employs about 2,000 people.
Half the population work in various service industries.
The most important service industry is retail and wholesale distribution.
Others include Tourism, catering, education, finance, health, public administration,
and transport,. There is a regional technical college city. Tramore, which
has a fine beach and recreation facilities, is one of the major Irish
Dunmore East is one of the major fishing ports
in Ireland and has fish-processing industries. There has been much development
of forestry in the upland areas of the county.
Waterford city is the center for transport, from
which railways and major roads radiate to Wexford, Dublin, and Limerick.
But these do not pass through the rest of the county, and the only national
primary road is the N25 from waterford to Cork. Lying on the deep and
sheltered waterford Harbour and Suir estuary, waterford city is one of
the major seaports
of the Irish Republic. It is particularly important for container traffic
but has no passenger services, the county has a small airport.
The annual rainfall is 100 centimetres. Being in
the southeast, the coastal lowlands have fewer wet days and more sunshine
than most of Ireland. The average monthly temperatures are 6 °C in
January and 16 °C in July.
There are a few sandy bays
bays and beaches along the coast but much of the land drops steeply
to the sea, offering good opportunities for shore fishing. The fishing
around Waterford is generally quite good and it is possible to take
sea fishing trips
from some of the harbours.