County Cork (Irish: Contae Chorcaí) is a county in Ireland. It is the largest and southernmost county of Ireland, situated in the province of Munster and named after the city of Cork, Ireland's second-largest city. The Cork County Council is the local authority for the county. Its largest market towns are Mallow, Macroom, Midleton, and Skibbereen. In 2016, the county's population was 542,868, making it the third-most populous county in Ireland. Notable Corkonians include Michael Collins, Jack Lynch, and Sonia O'Sullivan.
Cork borders four other counties; Kerry to the west, Limerick to the north, Tipperary to the north-east and Waterford to the east. The county contains the Golden Vale pastureland and stretches from Kanturk in the north to Allihies in the south. The south-west region, including West Cork, is one of Ireland's main tourist destinations, known for its rugged coast, megalithic monuments, and as the starting point for the Wild Atlantic Way.
The county is known as the "Rebel county", a name given to them by King Henry VII of England for its support of a man claiming to be Richard, Duke of York in a futile attempt at a rebellion. The main third-level educator is University College Cork, founded in 1845, and with a current undergraduate population around 15,000. Significant local industry and employers include technology company Dell EMC, the European headquarters of Apple, and Dairygold, which own milk-processing factories in Mitchelstown and Mallow.
Coat of arms
|Dáil Éireann||Cork East|
|• Type||County Council|
|• Total||7,500 km2 (2,900 sq mi)|
|• Density||72/km2 (190/sq mi)|
Two local authorities have remits which collectively encompass the geographic area of the county and city of Cork. The county, excluding Cork city, is administered by Cork County Council, while the city is administered separately by Cork City Council. Both city and county are part of the South-West Region. For standardized European statistical purposes, both Cork County Council and Cork City Council rank equally as first-level local administrative units of the NUTS 3 South-West Region. Thirty-four such LAU 1 entities are in the Republic of Ireland.
For elections to Dáil Éireann, the county is divided into five constituencies—Cork East, Cork North-Central, Cork North-West, Cork South-Central and Cork South-West. Together they return 18 deputies (TDs) to the Dáil. The county is part of the South constituency for the purposes of European elections.
For purposes other than local government, such as the formation of sporting teams, the term "County Cork" is often taken to include both city and county.
County Cork is located in the province of Munster, bordering Kerry to the west, Limerick to the north, Tipperary to the north-east and Waterford to the east. It is the largest county in Ireland by land area, and the largest of Munster's six counties by population and area. At the last census in 2016, Cork city stood at 125,657. The population of the entire county is 542,868 making it the state's second-most populous county and the third-most populous county on the island of Ireland. The remit of Cork County Council includes some suburbs of the city not within the area of Cork City Council.
Twenty-four historic baronies are in the county—the most of any county in Ireland. While baronies continue to be officially defined units, they are no longer used for many administrative purposes. Their official status is illustrated by Placenames Orders made since 2003, where official Irish names of baronies are listed.
The county has 253 civil parishes. Townlands are the smallest officially defined geographical divisions in Ireland, with about 5447 townlands in the county.
The county's mountain rose during a period mountain formation some 374-360 million years ago and include the Slieve Miskish and Caha Mountains on the Beara Peninsula, the Ballyhoura Mountains on the border with Limerick and the Shehy Mountains which contain Knockboy (706 m), the highest point in Cork. The Shehy Mountains are on the border with Kerry and may be accessed from the area known as Priests Leap, near the village of Coomhola. The Galtee Mountains are located across parts of Tipperary, Limerick, and Cork and are Ireland's highest inland mountain range. The upland areas of the Ballyhoura, Boggeragh, Derrynasaggart, and Mullaghareirk Mountain ranges add to the range of habitats found in the county. Important habitats in the uplands include blanket bog, heath, glacial lakes, and upland grasslands. Cork has the 13th-highest county peak in Ireland.
Three rivers, the Bandon, Blackwater, and Lee, and their valleys dominate central Cork. Habitats of the valleys and floodplains include woodlands, marshes, fens, and species-rich limestone grasslands. The River Bandon flows through several towns, including Dunmanway to the west of the town of Bandon before draining into Kinsale Harbour on the south coast. Cork's sea loughs include Lough Hyne and Lough Mahon, and the county also has many small lakes. An area has formed where the River Lee breaks into a network of channels weaving through a series of wooded islands. About 85 hectares of swamp are around Cork's wooded area. The Environmental Protection Agency carried out a survey of surface waters in County Cork between 1995 and 1997, which identified 125 rivers and 32 lakes covered by the regulations.
Cork has a mountainous and flat landscape with many beaches and sea cliffs along its coast. The southwest of Ireland is known for its peninsulas and some in Cork include the Beara Peninsula, Sheep's Head, Mizen Head, and Brow Head. Brow Head is the most southerly point of mainland Ireland. There are many islands off the coast of the county, in particular, off West Cork. Carbery's Hundred Isles are the islands around Long Island Bay and Roaringwater Bay.
Fastnet Rock lies in the Atlantic Ocean 11.3 km south of mainland Ireland, making it the most southerly point of Ireland. Many notable islands lie off Cork, including Bere, Great, Sherkin, and Cape Clear. Cork has 1,094 km of coastline, the second-longest coastline of any county after Mayo, which has 1,168 km.
Like many parts of Munster, Cork has fertile agricultural land and many bog and peatlands. Cork has around 74,000 hectares of peatlands, which amount to 9.8% of the county's total land area. And the county contains around 79,188 ha (195,680 acres) of forest and woodland area, or 10.5% of Cork's land area, higher than the national average of 9%.
The hooded crow, Corvus cornix is a common bird, particularly in areas nearer the coast. Due to this bird's ability to (rarely) prey upon small lambs, the gun clubs of Cork County have killed a large number of these birds in modern times. A collection of the marine algae was housed in the herbarium of the botany department of the University College Cork. Parts of the South West coastline are hotspots for sightings of rare birds, with Cape Clear being a prime location for bird watching. The island is also home to one of only a few gannet colonies around Ireland and the UK. The coastline of Cork is sometimes associated with whale watching, with some sightings of fin whales, basking sharks, pilot whales, minke whales, and other species.
The county is colloquially referred to as "The Rebel County", although uniquely Cork does not have an official motto. This name has 15th Century origins, but from the 20th century the name has been more commonly attributed to the prominent role Cork played in the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) when it was the scene of considerable fighting. In addition, it was an anti-treaty stronghold during the Irish Civil War (1922–23). 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.
In 1491 Cork played a part in the English Wars of the Roses when Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the English throne, landed in the city and tried to recruit support for a plot to overthrow Henry VII of England. The Cork people fought with Perkin because he was French and not English, they were the only county in Ireland to join the fight. The mayor of Cork and several important citizens went with Warbeck to England but when the rebellion collapsed they were all captured and executed. Cork's nickname of the 'rebel city' originates in these events.
In 1601 the decisive Battle of Kinsale took place in County Cork, which was to lead to English domination of Ireland for centuries. Kinsale had been the scene of a landing of Spanish troops to help Irish rebels in the Nine Years' War (1594–1603). When this force was defeated, the rebel hopes for victory in the war were all but ended. County Cork was officially created by a division of the older County Desmond in 1606.
In the 19th century, Cork was a centre for the Fenians and for the constitutional nationalism of the Irish Parliamentary Party, from 1910 that of the All-for-Ireland Party. The county was a hotbed of guerrilla activity during the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921). Three Cork Brigades of the Irish Republican Army operated in the county and another in the city. Prominent actions included the Kilmichael Ambush in November 1920 and the Crossbarry Ambush in March 1921. The activity of IRA flying columns, such as the one under Tom Barry in west Cork, was popularised in the Ken Loach film The Wind That Shakes The Barley. On 11 December 1920 Cork City centre was gutted by fires started by the Black and Tans in reprisal for IRA attacks. Over 300 buildings were destroyed, many other towns and villages around the county suffered a similar fate including Fermoy.
During the Irish Civil War (1922–23), most of the IRA units in Cork sided against the Anglo-Irish Treaty. From July to August 1922 they held the city and county as part of the so-called Munster Republic. However, Cork was taken by troops of the Irish Free State in August 1922 in the Irish Free State offensive, that included both overland and seaborne attacks. For the remainder of the war, the county saw sporadic guerrilla fighting until the Anti-Treaty side called a ceasefire and dumped their arms in May 1923. Michael Collins, a key figure in the War of Independence, was born near Clonakilty and assassinated during the civil war in Béal na Bláth, both in west Cork.
County Cork has two Gaeltacht areas where the Irish language is the primary medium of everyday speech. These are Múscraí (Muskerry) in the north of the county, especially the villages of Cill Na Martra (Kilnamartyra), Baile Bhúirne (Ballyvourney), Cúil Aodha (Coolea), Béal Átha an Ghaorthaidh (Ballingeary), and Oileán Chléire (Cape Clear Island).
There are 14,829 Irish language speakers in County Cork with 3,660 native speakers in the Cork Gaeltacht. In addition, there are 6,273 who attend the 21 Gaelscoileanna and six Gaelcholáistí all across the county. According to the Irish Census 2006 there are 4,896 people in the county who identify themselves as being daily Irish speakers outside of the education system. Ballingeary is a centre for Irish language tuition, with a summer school, Coláiste na Mumhan, or the College of Munster.
There are several media publications printed and distributed in County Cork. These include the Irish Examiner (formerly the Cork Examiner) and its sister publication The Echo (formerly the Evening Echo). Local and regional newspapers include The Cork News, Carrigdhoun, the Cork Independent, The Corkman, the Mallow Star, the Douglas Post, the East Cork Journal and the Southern Star.
Tourist sites include the Blarney Stone and Cobh, the port where many Irish emigrants boarded for their voyage to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa or the United States and also the last stop of the Titanic, before departing on its fated journey. It is home to the World's Oldest Yacht Club, the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.
Fota Island is the only wildlife park in Ireland, Fota House and Gardens, and the Fota Golf Club and Resort; a European Tour standard golf course which has also hosted the Irish Open in 2001, 2002 and 2014.
West Cork is known for its rugged natural environment, beaches and social atmosphere and is a destination for British, German, French and Dutch tourists.
The South-West region comprising counties Cork and Kerry contribute € 24,877 million ($39.3 billion USD) (2005 values; 2008 exchange rate) towards the Irish GDP. The harbour area to the immediate east of the city is home to a large number of pharmaceutical and medical companies. Mahon Point Shopping Centre is Cork's largest, and Munster's second largest, shopping centre and has over 75 stores including a retail park.
The Golden Vale is among the most productive farmland for dairy in Ireland. The chief milk processor is Dairygold, a farmer-owned co-operative based in Mitchelstown, who process 1.4 billion liters a year, converting the milk into cheeses and powder dairy nutritionals for infant formula.
Cork's main transport is serviced from:
|Leading population centers|
|10||Blarney & Tower||6,014|
Cork city is the only city in the county and the second most populous city in the Republic of Ireland, with a population of 125,657 according to the 2016 census. Cork city is the third most populous city on the island of Ireland. According to the 2006 Census statistics, the county has 11 towns with a population of over 4,000. The county has a population density of 72 persons/km2. A large percentage of the population live in urban areas.
As of the 2011 census, ethnically the population included 85% white Irish people, 9% other white people, 1% black, 1% Asian, 1% other races, and 1% not stated. Catholicism is the main religion at 87%, with other religions at 7%, 5% of people stating that they had no religion, and 1% not stated.
Common surnames in the county include Barry, Buckley, Callaghan, Connell, Connor, Crowley, Lynch, McCarthy, Murphy, O'Leary, O'Sullivan, Sheehan, Walsh, and Fitzgerald (the latter with a Norman derivation).
the southwest, comprising Cork and Kerry, has the second-largest spend by tourists [after the Dublin region]
Cobh ( KOHV, Irish: An Cóbh), known from 1849 until 1920 as Queenstown, is a tourist seaport town on the south coast of County Cork, Ireland. Cobh is on the south side of Great Island in Cork Harbour and is home to Ireland's only dedicated cruise terminal. Tourism in the area draws on the maritime and emigration legacy of the town. It was associated with the RMS Titanic, which was built in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Facing the town are Spike Island and Haulbowline Island. On a high point in the town stands the cathedral church of the diocese of Cloyne, St Colman's, which is one of the tallest buildings in Ireland.Cork (city)
Cork (; Irish: Corcaigh, pronounced [ˈkoɾkɪɟ], from corcach, meaning "marsh") is a city in south-west Ireland, in the province of Munster. As of the 2016 census, the city had a population of 125,657, but following a boundary extension in 2019, the population increased to c. 210,000.The island city formed the River Lee, which splits into two channels at the western end and divides the city centre into islands. They reconverge at the eastern end where the quays and docks along the river banks lead outwards towards Lough Mahon and Cork Harbour, one of the largest natural harbours in the world.Originally a monastic settlement, Cork was expanded by Viking invaders around 915. Its charter was granted by Prince John, as Lord of Ireland, in 1185. Cork city was once fully walled, and the remnants of the old medieval town centre can be found around South and North Main streets. The third largest city by population on the island of Ireland, the city's cognomen of "the rebel city" originates in its support for the Yorkist cause in the Wars of the Roses. Corkonians often refer to the city as "the real capital", a reference to its opposition to the Anglo-Irish Treaty in the Irish Civil War.Cork GAA
The Cork County Board of the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) (Irish: Cumann Luthchleas Gael Coiste Contae Chorcaí) or Cork GAA is one of the 32 county boards of the GAA in Ireland, and is responsible for Gaelic games in County Cork and the Cork inter-county teams. It is one of the constituent counties of Munster GAA.
Cork is one of the few 'dual counties' in Ireland, competing in a similar level in both Gaelic football and hurling. As of the end of the 2015 National Leagues, Cork compete in the top division of both sports. However, despite both teams competing at the top level of the game for most of the county's history, the hurling team has experienced more success, winning the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship 30 times. By comparison, Cork has only won All-Ireland Senior Football Championship seven times.
Traditionally football is strongest in the western half of the county, with the O'Donovan Rossa club of Skibbereen the only Cork team from outside the city to have an All-Ireland Club Football title. Hurling is the dominant sport in the east, with teams such as Sarsfields and Midleton having won Cork's club championship multiple times. Naturally, there are exceptions to this rule of thumb, with hurling pockets in football areas and vice versa. One example is Fermoy in east Cork, which has seven Cork football titles to its name.
The city of Cork traditionally has strong teams in both sports, with Nemo Rangers being the record-holders for All-Ireland Club Football Championships won, and Blackrock having three All-Ireland Club Hurling titles. As well as this, the St Finbarr's club in the city has eight Cork football titles and 25 in hurling.Mallow, County Cork
Mallow (Irish: Mala or Magh Eala) is a town in County Cork, Ireland, approximately thirty-five kilometres north of Cork. Mallow is in the barony of Fermoy.
It is the administrative centre of north County Cork and has been nicknamed the "Crossroads of Munster". The Northern Divisional Offices of Cork County Council are located in the town.Mallow GAA
Mallow GAA is a Gaelic football and hurling club based in the town of Mallow, Cork, Ireland. The club plays in Cork GAA competitions, and is part of the Avondhu divisional board.Midleton GAA
Midleton Hurling and Football Club is a Gaelic Athletic Association club based in the town of Midleton in County Cork, Ireland.N28 road (Ireland)
The N28 road is a national primary road in Ireland. It connects the port and village of Ringaskiddy to Cork city.
The road leaves Cork from an interchange on the N40 Cork South Ring Road near Douglas. It runs southwards towards Carrigaline, joining the Carrigaline Road. North of Carrigaline the route leaves the Shannonpark Roundabout and proceeds east through the village of Shanbally to Ringaskiddy.
Prior to the completion of the South Ring the N28 formed the route from the Bandon Road interchange through the Kinsale Road interchange to where it presently leaves the N40 ring road.
As of 2015, 11 km of motorway is being planned on the N28 between Cork and Ringaskiddy, with a final 1.5 km of single carriageway. It is estimated that work on this will commence in 2019, for completion in 2021.N71 road (Ireland)
The N71 road is a national secondary road in Ireland.R513 road (Ireland)
The R513 road is a regional road in County Cork and County Limerick, Ireland.It was formerly the trunk road T50.R572 road (Ireland)
The R572 road is a regional road in Ireland. It is a road on the Beara Peninsula in County Cork. The road forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Parts of the road are on the Beara Way walking trail.The R572 travels west from the N71 to Adrigole along Bantry Bay. The Caha Mountains, and in particular Sugarloaf Mountain, are on the landward side of the road. West of Adrigole, Hungry Hill rises to 686 m (2,251 ft), the Caha Mountains' highest peak, and features a 214 m (702 ft) water cascade. The road continues to Castletown Bearhaven, a fishing port and former British naval base. The road ends at Crow Head on Dursey Sound, where Ireland's only cable car connects the mainland to Dursey Island. The R572 is 55.4 km (34.4 mi) long.R575 road (Ireland)
The R575 road is a regional road in Ireland. It is a road on the Beara Peninsula in County Cork. The road forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way. Parts of the road form part of the Beara Way walking trail.Hillsides by the road near Allihies are marked by ruins of former copper mines. The mines were at peak production in the 19th century but some were operational until 1962.The R575 travels northeast from the R572 via Allihies and along the Kenmare River inlet. The road ends at the R571 near Eyeries. The R575 is 19.0 km (11.8 mi) long.R591 road (Ireland)
The R591 road is a regional road in Ireland. It is a road on the Mizen Peninsula in County Cork. Most of the road forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way.The R591 travels southwest from the N71 near Bantry to the village of Durrus. Durrus is also a gateway to the Sheep's Head Peninsula, the Mizen Peninsula's northern neighbour across Dunmanus Bay. The R591 continues via Toormore and Goleen. The road ends at Crookhaven, a yachting harbour village. Before Crookhaven, a scenic, rugged minor road leads to Mizen Head. The R591 is 36.4 km (22.6 mi) long.R595 road (Ireland)
The R595 road is a regional road in Ireland. It is a road on the Haven Coast in west County Cork. The road forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way.The R595 travels southwest from the N71 at Skibbereen along the estuary of the River Ilen. It ends at the port village of Baltimore, where ferries depart for Sherkin Island and Cape Clear Island. The R595 is 13.6 km (8.5 mi) long.R597 road (Ireland)
The R597 road is a regional road in Ireland. It is a loop road from the N71 on the Haven Coast in west County Cork. The road forms part of the Wild Atlantic Way.The R597 travels south from the N71 at Leap to the port village of Glandore. After Glandore, the road travels east and passes the megalithic Drombeg stone circle. It rejoins the N71 at the town of Rosscarbery. The R597 is 10.2 km (6.3 mi) long.R599 road (Ireland)
The R599 is a regional road in County Cork, Ireland, connecting the R586 in Dunmanway to the N71 just west of Clonakilty.Regional road (Ireland)
A regional road (Irish: bóthar réigiúnach) in Ireland is a class of road not forming a major route (such as a national primary road or national secondary road), but nevertheless forming a link in the national route network. There are over 11,600 kilometres of regional roads. Regional roads are numbered with three-digit route numbers, prefixed by "R" (e.g. R105).Sarsfields GAA (Cork)
Sarsfields GAA is a hurling club is based in the villages of Riverstown and Glanmire in east County Cork. They have won six County Championships, 1951, 1957, 2008, 2010, 2012 and 2014. They have also won three Minor County Championships, 2007, 2008 and 2014. The club derives its name for the Irish Jacobite and soldier Patrick Sarsfield, 1st Earl of Lucan.St. Finbarr's GAA
St. Finbarr's National Hurling and Football Club is a Gaelic Athletic Association club based in the Togher area of Cork city, County Cork, Ireland.
St. Finbarrs, who play in royal blue and gold jerseys, are the only club in Ireland to win All-Ireland club championships in both hurling and football. The club has won Cork County Senior Championships in every decade except the first decade of the 21st century. This record was almost upheld in 2009 when the club reached the final in the Cork County Senior Football Championship, only to lose out by a point to Clonakilty.
Between 1980 and 1982, the club won three Cork County Hurling Championships in a row. This feat has not been repeated since.UCC GAA
UCC is a football and hurling club associated with University College Cork. UCC teams play in the Cork Senior Football Championship and Cork Senior Hurling Championship as well as the two main third-level competitions namely the Sigerson Cup in football, the Fitzgibbon Cup in hurling and the Ashbourne Cup in camogie. They also compete against inter-county sides in the pre-season McGrath Cup (football) and Waterford Crystal Cup (hurling).
Places adjacent to County Cork
Places in County Cork
|Villages and |
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