Irish Sports Legends

Sports play a significant role in the Ireland communities and apart from the great sports legends actively participating, sports offer many spectators a fun way to spend the day out. The top spectator sport in the country includes hurling, golf, horseracing, soccer and Gaelic football.

Ireland is also home to many sports heroes including Champion League winners, World Boxing Champions, Olympic gold medallists and golfing primary victors.

The county can compete with the best in the world, despite its relatively small community and some of the sporting greats include Padraig Harrington, Brian O’Driscoll, George Best and Joey Dunlop.
Padraig Harrington

Padraig Harrington is one of the greatest golfers from Ireland, and this PGA golfer won the Open titles in both 2008 as well as 2009. He is also the winner of the 2008 PGA Championship, and while representing Europe in the Ryder Cup, he enjoyed winning the competition no less than four times.

In 1997, Padraig Harrington won the World Cup of Golf while playing with Paul McGinley. The Dublin sports star was also the only one to partner with Tiger Woods over five times during tournaments.

Brian O’Driscoll

Brian O’Driscoll from 2003 until 2012 was the Captain of the Ireland team. His rugby career also includes him captaining the Irish Lions as well as the British Lions during the New Zealand tour.

O’Driscoll won the IRB World Player of the year award three times, these include in 2009, 2002 and 2001 and is the all-time leading try scorer in Ireland, while in 2008 he won the Dubliner of the Year award. He was also the captain of the Ireland team when they won the Grand Slam and was voted the Rugby Player of the Decade by Rugby World magazine for the time-period 2000 up to 2009.

George Best

George Best is without a doubt the most talented soccer player. This Irish player won the European Cup as part of the Manchester United team in 1968 and scored a total of 137 goals for the club. When Best was spotted in Belfast as a teenager, Matt Busby got a call and was told that Best was the next soccer genius.

He dated several glamorous women, which also included a few Miss Worlds. He was the first celebrity footballer, while he is known in the British media as the fifth Beatle. Unfortunately, Best died in 2005 from alcohol-related illness when his playboy lifestyle caught up with him.

Joey Dunlop

Joey Dunlop is from Ballymoney in the North of Ireland, and this World Champion motorcyclist was voted the 5th greatest by the Motorcycle News and was the winner of the Ulster Grand Prix twenty-four times.

Dunlop was also the winner of the TT Formula One from 1982 to 1986 when he won five years in a row and was awarded an OBE for the charity work; he did with orphans and an MBE for his sports contribution. Joey Dunlop was killed in Estonia during a race in 2000.

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Ireland’s Biggest Sports Stars

Ireland is not a big country, yet it produced several top sports stars such as Rory McIlroy, Aiden McGeady, James O’Donoghue, Jonathan Sexton and Carl Frampton. These all feature on the list of the biggest stars in sports in Ireland and their success internationally are phenomenal.

Rory McIlroy

Rory Mcllroy is from Northern Ireland and participated for Ireland in the Olympics of 2016. McIlroy had quite a bad sports year in 2013 since he never won any tournaments, yet the thirteen competitions he entered got him on five occasions into the top 25. The lowest prize money he earned was in 2013 when he earned €862,177, the lowest since the year 2008.

In 2014 McIlroy was back on top of his game, ended his engagement to Wozniacki and focused entirely on golf. He won the BMW PGA Championship as well as The Open and due to this winning streak, McIlroy was described by newspapers as simply incredible.

Jonathan Sexton

Only a limited few backed the team from Ireland to actually win the Six Nations, those who did bet money on the game, placed their wagers on England. At the end, England scored 8 points and difference of +73, while Ireland had an 8 point different and a +83 points difference.

Newspapers afterwards published that although rugby is a team sport, they had no choice but to single out one particular player, this player was Jonathan Sexton who was deserving of the praise as he had the tournament many can only dream off in 2014 in the Six Nations. He went on to win the tournament and ended up as the winning joint with Mike Brown of England, both scored four.
Sexton ended the tournament with 66 points, which was half of the points earned by the Ireland team. Everyone hoped that he would be nominated the player of the tournament although that title went to Mike Brown.

Carl Frampton

Carl Frampton had the potential to become the biggest boxer of all times, the former world champion Barry McGuigan believed. Frampton had 19 fights and remained unbeaten, while fights ended in knock-outs totalled 13 before he became the world champion.
He went on to beat Kiko Martines in the IBF Super Bantamweight title and won the WBC belt. Under the guise of boxing, Carl Frampton has united both Southern and Northern Ireland and his closest friend and mentor are still McGuigan.

Aiden McGeady is most known as the Everton winger that is by far one of the most exciting and supported players to wear Irish Jersey. He enjoyed major success internationally and displayed great tactics during the games against Scotland and Poland. Thanks to the goal by John O’Shea, Ireland managed to score a historical point against the world champions, at the Euro in France. Irish fans have had many reasons to celebrate during the Euro 2016 and it could be heard all night long in pubs in Gelsenkirchen.

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Ireland’s Wealthiest Sports Star

It came to many as a big surprise when the Sunday Time announced the wealthiest sports star in Ireland. The richest of the sports star is Sir Anthony Joseph Francis O’Reilly. Sir Anthony is a rugby player known as Tony O’Reilly that was also previously the owner of the Independent News and Media. He made some of his money on the rugby field, and via clever investments and great control of his assets, he became the wealthiest of the sports stars.

Tony O’Reilly previously owned the majority of shares in INM. He lived by a rule that you win and lose and once you know how to handle losses you also know how to live. O’Reilly studied at the University of Bradford, Belvedere College SJ and at the University College Dublin. During his rugby career, O’Reilly played for the Barbarians, Irish Lions and the British Lions. He features on the Hall of Fame of the International Rugby Board.

Sir Anthony Joseph Frances O’Reilly’s Charitable Work

Tony O’Reilly was known and loved for all the charities he was involved with, which included several different charitable activities. He was one of the major supports for many years of the Professorship in UCD studies in Australia. O’Reilly was also a sponsor of the National Science Historical Museum that is based next to the Birr Castle.

In 1994 he was a Pro-Chancellor at the Dublin University before retiring in 2011. He also financially backed the Jewish Studies development and became a keen supporter of Neuroscience. Additionally, O’Reilly funded and supported the building of the UCD’s Hall named the O’Reilly Hall at completion.

Private Life of Sir Anthony Joseph Frances O’Reilly

O’Reilly met Dorothy Collins in 1954, in 1958 they got engaged and planned to get married in 1959. O’Reilly’s first wife was Susan Cameron, the pianist and secretary from Australia. Cameron was the daughter of a rich mining family in Australia. O’Reilly met her during a rugby tour in the country and they married in 1962. They had six children together including triplets and today they share nineteen grandchildren.

After divorcing Susan, Tony O’Reilly got married to the Greek Shipping heiress Chryss Goulandris after they met in New York. After their wedding took place in 1991, Chryss gifted her husband with the Theatre in Pittsburgh. It is still known as the O’Reilly Theatre, and he spent $20 million on the ring known as the Jackie Onassis.

O’Reilly’s Wealth

The Sunday Times reported in 2014 that the O’Reilly family was worth $545 million, which went up to after his wife inherited around €300 and according to the Sunday Independent, the family’s worth was estimated at around €1 billion.

Biography of Sir Anthony Joseph Frances O’Reilly

Ivan Fallon produced The Player: The Life of Tony O’Reilly in the 1990s, the biography offered details regarding all his business matters as well as all his Irish businesses. Gill and Macmillan published a second biography in 2015. It was written by Matt Cooper and this time titled The Maximalist: The Rise and Fall of Tony O’Reilly. It gave an overview of the life of the rugby player as well as an overview of one of the remarkable figures in Ireland’s history.

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Irish Sports Star – David Gillick’s Recipes

David Gillick studied at the Institute of Technology in Dublin before he moved to Loughborough to become a professional athlete in 2006. He first specialized in running the 400 meters, which he won in 2004 and 2007 at the European Indoor Championship. In 2007, Gillick also set the record for Irish Indoor at the final and due to his good form, he finished 6th at the World Championships. At the Berlin World Championships, he ended up in 6th place.

Gillick’s other passion is food and he was asked to partake in Ireland’s Celebrity MasterChef and remained a favourite to win until the very end when he did win the trophy. He joined the TV3 Team after winning and fans can now purchase his cookbooks. One of the greatest meals in his cookbook is the Chicken and Spinach Wraps. Get ready and start cooking with David Gillick.

Spinach and Chicken Wrap by Ireland’s MasterChef David Gillick

David Gillick understands that lunch can be challenging, especially since most people have only limited time to prepare food, which calls for something that is both quick and healthy and doesn’t require a lot of cooking.

Gillick believes that every, whether its breakfast, lunch or supper should be great tasting, look appetising and offer a balanced between several food groups. Personally, he loves wraps, they healthy, quick to make and much lighter than ciabatta or paninis, and once packed full of greatness, they are also much tastier. With the Spanish and Chicken Wrap, the healthy fats are offered via the avocado puree which also makes the wrap appetising and moist, it is also a great meal when you use homemade coleslaw and turkey.

Spinach and Chicken Wrap Ingredients

Serves 1

½ of a ripe avocado
1 wholegrain wrap
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon garlic purée
150g of cooked chicken, small handful of sliced spinach
½ of a red pepper, chopped
50g sliced mozzarella
Several fresh and chopped basil leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil

Mash the avocado in a bowl by using a fork, then add the garlic purees and tomato and make sure it is mixed well. Take the wrap and spread it with the avocado in the centre of the warp once it is laid out on a surface. Add spinach and chicken to cover the warp and complete by added sliced mozzarella, diced pepper and chopped basil. To ensure great taste drizzle some olive oil before folding up the wrap tightly. Before serving the warp can be cut diagonal or in half and served either on its own or with a healthy green salad.

David Gillick’s cookbooks are available and published by Mercier Press and apart from healthy meals it also features a fabulous selection of delicious desserts such as the Ricotta, Strawberry and White Chocolate Tart that requires only 30 minutes chill time in the fridge, while his protein balls are a great lunchbox filler and favoured by many athletes.

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Slainte! Brass-Filled, Lantern-Lit Pub and Meeting Place for Historic Rebels

The oldest pub took over from the hostelry that was there until 1197 and therefore its logo indicates the existence of the Brazen Head in Dublin is since 1198, either way, it is Ireland’s oldest place where friends get together to enjoy a drink or two. The building was the Coaching Inn in 1754 and documents regarding The Brazen Head goes back as far as 1653. Interestingly a 1750’s advertisement found recently reads that Christopher Quin has fitted the Brazen Head with a neat, commodious cellar and accommodations in Bridge Street.

Bridge Street, which is still where the Brazen Head is located in the area from where Dublin got its name since the Irish name is Baile Atha Cliath for Dublin and it means Town of the Ford of the Reed Hurdles. Right beside the pub is the bridge called Father Matthew’s bridge, which crosses the river Liffey.

1773 up to 1778 – Robert Emmet

It was here where the Rising of 1798 was planned as Robert Emmet. The United Irishman used the pub for all his planning. It was his prime location, firstly the Brazen Head was very close to the Castle of Dublin and secondly, he liked plotting against the British Rule at the pub. The Brazen Head was close to the law courts and churches which made it a hotspot for gossip and the perfect place for passing strangers.

It is also here where Emmet stayed in a room that offered him a view that enabled him to spot the possible approach of the enemies. He was hanged in September 1803 after his rebellion failed and after leading the revolution against the rule of the British, which is why he was also beheaded in Thomas Street after founded guilty of high treason.

1890 to 1922 Michael Collins

The Brazen Head was not only the pub Robert Emmet like, but it was also used by Michael Collins for his meetings. The pub was nearly distorted during the 1916 Easter Rising as well as during the 1922 war since in both cases it was near the area where fierce fighting took place. Troops fired during the Civil War from just outside the pub, and there is still a collection of photographs displayed in the pub of this period.

The Brazen Head Now Has A Reputation for Excellent Food

It is well-deserved this reputation it has for serving both contemporary and traditional dishes. Everyone in Dublin or even Ireland agrees that the Irish stews and other traditional stews at The Brazen Head are simply the best and most delicious.

Great Food, Awesome Meeting Place & The Best Live Music

It is at The Brazen Head where the best musicians can be found at the pub host the Irish traditional music not easily found elsewhere and depending on the night you get to visit the pub. You might just get a chance to sing-along.

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Never a dull moment at Dublin’s Temple Bar

One thing everyone agrees on that have had the pleasure of spending some time at The Temple bar is that it is always lively, there is simply no chance of a dull moment, which is the main reason why this is one of the most popular bars in Dublin. The Temple bar is basically situated near the River Liffey banks district, it is in the heart of the city, and with its bright colours, the pub attracts the attention of both locals and thousands of tourists. It is busy and one of the liveliest places in Dublin, while it has a reputation for offering the best oyster combos great with Guinness.

Whiskey Drinkers Haven Offers Over 450 Bottles of Scotch Bourbons & Irish Bourbons

Apart from its simply enthralling atmosphere, The Temple bar is not only the longest established but also the greatest gatherer of whiskeys. The extremely rare collection features whiskeys collected over decades, it includes some of the rarest from over the world, and it all really started when whiskey form a barrel where bottled in unique bottles each with their own label. Many come to enjoy the traditional feast of oysters served with Guinness, but if you really want to appreciate the experience in full, you should know the history of The Temple.

The Story Behind The Temple Bar in Dublin

The story takes you far back in time, as far as 1599, where you get to know more about the renowned philosopher and teacher, Sir William Temple who at the time entered the service of Ireland’s Lord Deputy. The tale then jumps to 1609, when Temple became Provost of Trinity College, Dublin as well as Master Chancery and moved to Ireland. Sir William Temple used the newly reclaimed land to build his home and garden on the corner of Temple Lane and named the street Temple Bar.

Jump to 1656, and it is Sir John Temple, the son of Sir William Temple that acquires more land, which enables the development of the area now known as the Temple Bar. But it is important to understand that in the seventeenth century Barr meant a raised estuary used to walk on. It evolved later into the through fare as it is today, connecting Westmoreland Street to the Fishamble Street.

Famous Days At The Most Famous Pub – The Temple

The most famous artists and bands in the world have entertained audiences form the stage of the Temple, but that is not all it is here where a Guinness World Record took place. Dave Browne, the guitarist, broke the Guinness World Record, in June 2011 he played for 114 consecutive hours, which was the Longest Marathon Playing the Guitar.

Entertainment also included the many Irish Legends from The Fureys to The Dubliners, and iconic ballads and songs have kept the crowd entertained for so many happy years. Some of the acts of amazing artist include Biffy Clyro, Paulo Nutini and Aloe Black.

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Wicklow County

With its dramatic valleys, mesmerising ruins and mount marvels it’s no wonder that that Wicklow is named the Garden of Ireland. Wicklow welcomes thousands of tourists every year, churches, the graveyard and round tower nestled in the land of mystic are crowned by an amazing natural backdrop of glossy lakes and soaring mountains.

Thousands of visitors come to explore Powerscourt Gardens and house’s manicured beauty as well as the highest waterfall in Ireland, enveloped in birdsong and sprawling wildlife. Stunning views are offered by the Wicklow Mountains and Blessington Lakes, while guided tours pass the lavish estates including the likes of Mick Jagger and Coco Chanel.

Wicklow History

Wicklow or Cill Mhantain in Irish means Church of the Toothless One, the county is located on Dublin’s south and had a 10,584 population at the time of the census in 2016. The town is located on route N11, between Wexford and Dublin, it is linked to the rail network and its commuter services extends to Dublin, while additional services connect it to Rosslare Europort, Wexford, Arklow and the main ferry port.

Wicklow Geography

The town of Wicklow forms a kind of semi-circle around the harbour of Wicklow and to its north lies the popular grassy walking area called the Murrough, which is a commercial area that continues to grow due to the road that bypasses the town. To its south-west is the Ballyguile Hill, where most of the housing developments occurred in the period 1970 to 1980. The rocky headlands are the most dominant feature and include the Wicklow Head and Bride’s Head, which represents the most eastern mainland point in Ireland. It is possible to view the Snowdonia mount range on a very clear day, situated in Wales.

Wicklow Climate

As with most of north-western Europe, a maritime climate is experienced by Wicklow, summers are cool and winters mild and there is a lack of extremes in the temperature. January sees a maximum on average of 9.2 C or 48.6 F, while the temperature increased to 21.2 C or 70.2 F in August. The rainfall is generally spread out across the year, apart from October being the wettest month of the year and up to 118.9 mm can be expected, April is the driest of all the month and rainfall of just 60.7 is average.

Wicklow Economy

Significant changes took place since 1995, and with the expansion in the growth of the economy of the Irish, combined with residential development, the town just west of Marlton Road has seen lots of new housing developments. What also contributed to the extension of the Wicklow is the completion of the Rathnew/Ashford bypass in 2004, which linked it to Dublin, situated just 42 km to its north. The developments ensure a steady growth in the Wicklow population while the surrounding townlands, which increased the importance of the commuter town.

Wicklow County Facts and Figures

The population density in Wicklow County is 70.2 per 2km, and 34% of the population is under 25, while over 65s makes up 13% of the population. The average income per household is €73,204 and the average rent on houses per month is €1,003.
The population in Wicklow Count is 142,425, with 32,600 living in Bray, 10,584 in Wicklow Town, 18,140 in Greystones and 13,163 in Arklow.

Wicklow County Tourism

Around 248,000 international visitors generate around €82 million in revenue yearly during their visit to Wicklow County. Wicklow was recently in the news when a lucky punter purchased a lotto ticket in Greystones in Wicklow County and became the owner of a €20,000 luxury holiday voucher and €70,987 richer.

One of the most popular tourist attractions in Wicklow County is the Johnnie Fox’s Pub established in 1798, apart from being the most famous pub in Ireland it is also the oldest and known as the highest of all pubs in the country. Highlights at the pub include the truly Irish experience tourists enjoy in the living museum, while the Johnnie Fox pub also has its own bakery offering delicious freshly daily baked delights. The pub features an award-winning menu and is filled with history. At the pub, there is live entertainment all seven nights of the week and one of the most loved shows are the super famous Irish Dance Show called the Johnnie Fox’s Dancing Hooley Show.

Ernie’s Bar is located in Wicklow Town, it is a hugely popular music lounge, party venue and sports bar, where every sporting event can be viewed on screens located in the bar area. The lower area contains a lounge where live music sessions take place, which mostly includes some of the best performers and musicians in Wicklow County. The upstairs function room is not only great for special occasions but also the place where weekly quizzes take place and it is often used for charity events.

Right in the heart of Wicklow Town is the Bridge Tavern that dates back to 1702, this is also where Captain Robert Halpin was born and became even more famed for its courtyard where tourists get to relax while enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. Live music is what makes it a very busy place over weekends, and it offers the most comfortable accommodation for the whole family. Homemade food is served in both the lounge area and at the riverside restaurant while the lounge with its wood-burning stoves offers a warm escape after a day out in the countryside.

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Wexford County

Wexford is indisputably the most exciting place to explore in Ireland due to its Viking history. It is located along the southeast coast of the island, which is the reason why it was targeted by many invaders. The list of invasions includes in 1169 when Wexford was invaded by the Normans, and Oliver Cromwell led the English invasion in 1649. It was the site of concentration fighting in the Irish rebellion in 1798, as well as other battles such as the Vinegar Hill in Enniscorthy and the battles at New Ross.

Wexford History

Named after the City of Wexford, the county is part of the Leinster province sited on the south-end coast. Originally the city was named Waesjord, which is an old Norse word meaning bay or inlet of the washed flats. Wexford county covers 2.352 sq. kilometres or 909 square miles and is 55’km in length, while it is 29 meters in breadth. The county was part of the Confederacy of the Irish Catholics which protested in 1641, led by Oliver Cromwell.

Wexford Politics and Local Government

In the thirty-two counties of Ireland, Wexford is the 14th largest in terms of population and in size the largest in the twelve counties of Leinster, but only the fourth largest in population.

An official web portal was launched in May 2011 for Wexford city, it included a local government, the Wexford Means Business website, and Wexford Tourism aimed to promote the value of Wexford as a business destination. As a seaport, it was unsuccessful due to the changing sand of the harbour during the first half of the twentieth century, and it became unprofitable to keep the harbour and the port closed by 1968.

The port was previously important to the economy and used for coal import and grain and agricultural machinery export. A new port was built around 12 miles further south early in the twenty-first century and is known as the Rosslare Europort from which all major shipping takes place.

Wexford Community

In 1821 the population in Wexford was 170,806 and by 1841, it increased to 202,033, while it was less affected by the potato famine than most other counties. The population decreased in 1851 to 180,158 and continued to decrease until 1926 when it was 95,848. With the 2006 census, the population was 131,749 and the predominant Roman Catholic county had a 90.7% population that were Roman Catholic with 8.5% of the population following the Church of Ireland.

By 1926 the Roman Catholic percentage showed an increase and reached 94.0%, which meant the Church of Ireland popularity decreased to 5.3% with the Methodist and Presbyterian churches down to 0.23% and 0.15% respectively. Size-wise the county is 2.352 square kilometres and cars registered in Wexford have number plates bearing WX, while the county is nicknamed Model County due to the huge number of model farms that are part of the agricultural experiment.

Wexford County Tourism

The capital of Wexford County is Wexford town known for both its National Opera House and medieval lands. Some of the main tourist attractions include the 12th-century Selkar Abbey, West Gate Heritage Tower and 13th-century tollgate.

Eras of the Irish history is re-created by the National Heritage Park found on the west side of town, while the northwest is best known for the 1798 National Rebellion Center and the Enniscorthy Castle displaying medieval wall art including dungeons. The south offers a great view of Tintern Abbey as well as the 13th century Hook Lighthouse.

Wexford Climate

The best time to visit Wexford County is in July, which is the warmest month of the year, with January being the coolest. The wettest month in Wexford is December, while the driest month of the year is in July.

Wexford Most Popular in Ireland as Holiday Spot

Wexford is arguably the most favored as a domestic holiday spot when visitors are more likely to hear Dublin accents than that of the locals, which could make it quite the challenge to tell the difference between the local and the working-class North Side Dubs. Wexford is loved for its excessive amount of sunshine and it offers one of the most tolerable climates in Ireland.

Visitors can look forward to enjoying six hours a day in the sun during the month of May, which in Ireland is unheard off. It is the beaches in Wexford that attract all the locals and these stretches for over 27 kilometers. The Curracloe Strand is the longest and most beautiful beach in Ireland and often used as a filming location, it was used for Saving Private Ryan and its white sands and soft dunes closely resemble the Normandy beach.

Wexford is the cornerstone of the Ancient East of Ireland and its breath-taking views and dramatic landscapes offer a wealth of walking trails. The beaches offer hours of barefoot walking in the sand as well as a variety of ice cream shops and fish & chips outlets.

Wexford County the Perfect Halloween Destination

Wexford County is the perfect Halloween destination and home to a haunted house while the long list of events surrounding Halloween includes Haunts at the gardens and Well House, events at the Enniscorthy Castle, Chocolate making at the Irish National Park, Halloween Mosaic and Broom making. One of the most popular events is the Halloween train, enabling the brave to visit the Monster Mash event at Amber Springs. The spooky train is family friendly, while the village itself comes alive with ghoulish creatures, skeletons and Frankenstein’s during the Halloween event that offers some of the yummiest treats while entertainment includes several performances.

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A delightful combination of buzzing festivals, history and a thriving foodie scene – Waterford is one of the Irish counties – No to be Missed!

Waterford Politics and Local Government

Colloquially, Waterford is known as The Deise, it is believed that between the fourth and eighth century the tribe of Gaelic people driven from north Kildare and Meath settled in the area. Today the Deise’s ancient principality is conterminous with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lisbmore and Waterford, which includes the southern part of Tipperary. The Drum-Fineen hills separate the Decies without Drum and the Decies within Drum. In the county, there are many ogham stones and megalithic tombs, while the Viking influence is still most visible in one of the oldest buildings, the Reginald’s Tower, which was the first to use the brick and mortar method of building in Ireland.

Waterford County and City Council, since the 1st of June 2014 is the governing authority for the area formed via the merger of the Waterford County Council and the Waterford City Council following the Act2014 Reform Act of the Local Government. In the Republic of Ireland, there are thirty-one LAU 1 entities and each of the local authorities rank equally as an administrative unit. The local authority is responsible for services such as libraries, local roads, collecting automobile taxation, real-estate planning and development, social housing and sanitation.

Waterford remained Ireland’s second city throughout the medieval period with Dublin the first. It was governed from 1642 up to 1649 by an independent Catholic government, which was ended by Oliver Cromwell when he reinstated the county to be under English rule. Huge prosperity was enjoyed by Waterford in the 18th century when the city’s greatest architecture appeared, and the permanent military base was established.

Waterford Community

Waterford is the fifth most populated city in the state and the local government’s thirty-second most populous area. Waterford is home to 53.502 people and the metropolitan area population is almost 83.000. Bus services are available across the region and throughout the city, while a regular service to Dublin is offered via bus route 4 provided by Bus Eireann. Only 9km from the city centre the Waterford airport is located and car rentals can be obtained from Enterprise, Hertz, Europcar and Budget. Euro lines operates the daily coach service to the United Kingdom calling at Carmarthen, Kilgetty, Pembroke Dock, Cardiff, London and Pont Abraham. The longest greenway in Ireland is the Waterford Greenway that connects the city with Kilmacthomas, Kilmeaden, Mount Congreve and Dungarvan.

Waterford Climate

Like the rest of Ireland, Waterford’s climate is mild, lack’s extreme temperatures and has abundant rainfall. The hottest months in the county starts in June to Augusts and with the temperature around 17 up to 22 degrees it is often referred to as the Sunny Southeast. While the county enjoys a great rainfall right through the year, January, December, November and October are the wettest months.

Waterford Transportation

Waterford offers a variety of different transport options including motorways, bus services, rail, daily coach services, car rental, cycling and air.

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Westmeath County

Often called the Lake County, Westmeath offers an array of streams, lakes and other waterways, it is part of the Leinster province and the Midlands. It has a colourful and long history and it is said that Westmeath was where the five ancient provinces of Ireland met. Before St. Patrick, it was the gathering county of all the high kings. The Normans built forts and castles after their arrival in 1170, and the county was established in 1543 and got its name from the kingdom of Mide. It was centrally involved with the rebellion in 1641 and active in the Williamite war, most of the Norman or Irish landholders lost their homes and land after the rebellion in 1641. Still, today, visitors can view the evidence of the county’s eventful past.

Magnificent Castles

The hill, Uisneagh is 180 meters high and it is here where the palace of King Tauthal Teachmar was built in the 2nd century, the pagan kings ruled Ireland for over two hundred years. There are several castles in the Westmeath county, the most famed, Tullynally, it is still occupied by the Earl of Longford’s family. Yet the oldest castle is arguably the Delvin Castle, it was built in 1181 and constructed by Hugh De Lacy. King John of England built the Athlone Castle in 1210, and he made a strategic move and placed it in a position from which it was able to guard the main crossing of River Shannon. The oldest structure in the county is Crookedwood Fort, related to the ancient tales of Fionn, a mythological warrior and hunter, and it is nearby the Taughmon, a fortified stone church built in the fourteenth century.

Westmeath Population

The towns located within the county each have their own history, one of the medieval towns is Fore containing a moat that comes from the Anglo-Norman era and there are still remains of the ancient wall of the city as well as the Benedictine Monastery, used until it’s 1539 closure, by Henry VIII. The Westmeath popular was 141,300 in 1841 and from 1845 to 1847 during the Great Famine it drastically decreased and in 1851 it was 111,407. The Westmeath population further decreased and by 1926 it was only 56,8181, the population in 2011 was 86,164.

Westmeath Lakes

A trip to Westmeath is made special by so much, this great destination offers several lakes, its favoured for its angling and water sports. Popular water sports spots are Lough Owel and Lough Ennell, and Lough Derrravaragh is fundamental in the mythology of Ireland. Westmeath is based in the heart of the Ancient East of Ireland, and it comes as no surprise that its mystical lake is part of many folklore and tales of fables. Some of the legends include that the Children of Lir was transformed into swans by a very jealous stepmother who was then condemned to wandering of 900 years. Tullynally Gardens and Castle can be found near the lake of legends, it has been the home of the Pakenham family for more than 350 years. During your trip to this magnificent county, you can enjoy pre-booked tours, visit the Georgian-styled manor, enjoy leisurely walking trails and get lost in gardens of the 18th century.

Medieval Landmarks in Westmeath

The gateway town to the Shannon River is Athlone, visitors can rent cruisers to explore the artsy Left Bank and the medieval castle. The 12th century, Athlone Castle is one of the major attractions for visitors and was built by Bishop John de Gray for King John of England. It was erected in such a way that it could also defend the River Shannon crossing point and it now displays ancient artefacts enabling tourists to wander into 5,000 years of history.

The compact maze of Athlone towns’ old streets offers restaurants such as the Thyme and The Left Bank Bistro, shopping centres, and when you feel thirsty the Kilbeggan Whiskey pub offers some of the best local beers. This is where the Drama Festival of Ireland takes place and it is not surprising when you take into consideration that both the Athlone Little Theatre and the Dean Crowe Theatre is situated here. The yearly events bring lots of visitors as well as drama groups and art exhibitioners.

Wicked Spouses and Grand Houses

The main town in Westmeath is Mullingar and only a few miles outside of the town, tourists can find the Belvedere House, this parkland estate overlooks the Lough Ennell. The hunting lodge offers magnificent ceilings decorated with fire-breathing dragons, it also offers the Jealous Wall. This feature well worth being curious about is a mock-up of a ruined abbey, a Gothic folly built by the owner of the lodge. Lord Belvedere intended to block the view of his brother’s residence, which was the much grander Tudenhan House. Belvedere was known as the Wicked Earl and he is also notorious for locking up his wife for a period of 31 years, all due to a suspicion of infidelity, which clearly shows that he was not a moderate man.

Westmeath & The Seven Wonders

The 7th-century remains are situated in the village of Fore, the monastic settlement is the biggest Benedictine site in entire Ireland and it also is the home of the seven fabled wonders of Fore. These are the miracles most associated with the tree that would never burn, St Fechin, there is also the water that never boiled, and the monastery that was built on a bog. The seven wonders are seen as miracles, it is the pretty light-hearted take you’ll remember most from your visit and with so many folk tales about the saints, the place is one of curiosity. Maybe the eighth wonder of Ireland is how Westmeath have remained for so long on the radar, and the only way to find out is to add it to your wish list of places to visit.

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