There have been some changes to the regions. Fabien Antoine first put me on the trail of them.
The latest version of the FIPS standard is called "Geopolitical Entities and Codes", published in 2010-04. It shows Ireland divided into administrative counties rather than traditional ones, as listed in a supplementary table below. Update 16 to GEC is dated 2014-06-30. It assigns new codes to reflect the changes in local government.
Clive Carpenter informed me that there would be a change in Ireland's local government structure effective 2014-06. Limerick and Waterford cities merged with their administrative counties, and the administrative counties of North and South Tipperary merged. The secondary level consists mainly of municipal districts.
ISO 3166-2 Newsletter II-3 is dated 2011-12-15. It changes the code for Cork (formerly
IE-C), to avoid duplicating the code
for Connaught province.
ISO 3166-2 Newsletter number II-1, dated 2010-02-03, has changes to the listing for Ireland, but nothing that affects data reported on this site. The only change is adding the prefix IE- explicitly to each province code.
Change Notice 8 to FIPS PUB 10-4 is dated 2002-06-28. The only change under Ireland is that the Gaelic names of the counties were added as alternate names.
|Languages||English (en), Gaelic (ga)|
|Time zone||0 ~|
At the beginning of the 20th century, the whole island of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom. Irish patriots repeatedly argued and fought for independence. Finally, on 1921-12-06, the Anglo-Irish Treaty was signed. By its terms, Ireland became an independent country with dominion status, although Northern Ireland was to be allowed to make a separate decision. The name of the new country was the Irish Free State (Gaelic: Saorstát Éireann). On 1922-12-12, six counties in the north voted to revert to the United Kingdom. On 1949-04-18, the Irish Free State broke off its remaining links with Britain under a new constitution, becoming the Irish Republic (Poblacht na hÉireann).
Éire + land. Éire is generally thought to be from Ériu, a pagan goddess.
Ireland is divided into 26 (traditional) counties.
|Donegal||158,755||161,137||4,831||1,865||Dún na nGall||Lifford|
|Dublin||1,345,402||1,273,069||922||356||Baile Átha Cliath||Dublin|
|Leitrim||31,972||31,798||1,525||589||Liatroim||Carrick on Shannon|
|Tipperary||160,441||158,754||4,255||1,643||Tiobraid Árann||Clonmel (S), Nenagh (N)|
Note: Sources disagree about some capitals (county seats). The capital of Laois is Portlaoise. The same city is known as Maryborough, and has been known by both names throughout the 20th century. The name Maryborough was more common in English-language sources up to ~1955; after that, Portlaoise, or one of its variant spellings (Port Laoighis, Portlaoighise, etc.), was preferred. The sources seem to be divided on the capital of Meath: some say it's Trim (Baile Átha Troim), while others say Navan (An Uaimh). Nenagh is the capital of North Tipperary, and Clonmel, South Tipperary. Finally, most sources say that the capital of Waterford is Waterford, but a few of them say that it's Dungarvan. Here, Dungarvan is the capital of Waterford administrative county, while Waterford itself is an administratively separate city.
Ireland has administrative counties, electoral counties, and what I will call traditional counties. Most administrative counties have the same name and extent as traditional counties. The exceptions are four traditional counties that each contain an administrative county and a city, all of the same name (Cork, Galway, Limerick, and Waterford); one traditional county that is divided into two administrative counties (Tipperary); and one traditional county that is divided into three administrative counties and a city (Dublin). The electoral counties are election districts, and correspond to one or two traditional counties or a portion of a traditional county. The cities were known as county boroughs until 2001.
In common with the ISO standard, I list the traditional counties. The FIPS standard listed traditional counties, also, but it was superseded in 2010 by the GEC standard, which lists administrative counties. With the Local Government Reform Act of 2014, some administrative counties were merged, and the GEC codes were changed to take account of this. This table summarizes the successive situations.
|Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown||u||Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown||u||Dublin|
|South Dublin||u||South Dublin||u||Dublin|
The provinces date back to about the beginning of the Christian era, when there were five of them (with Meath). They now have no administrative function. The separation of Northern Ireland divided Ulster into two parts: the larger (six counties at the time of the split) is all of Northern Ireland, and the smaller (three counties) is now two disjoint parts of the Irish Republic.
Eight regional authorities were established in 1994. Their functions were largely confined to studying and recommending. They were equivalent to level-3 NUTS areas (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics, a Eurostat classification). The first four characters of their NUTS codes determined which level-2 NUTS area they belonged to: IE01 for Border, Midlands and Western; IE02 for Southern and Eastern.
|Border||Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Louth, Monaghan, Sligo|
|Mid-East||Kildare, Meath, Wicklow|
|Midland||Laois, Longford, Offaly, Westmeath|
|Mid-West||Clare, Limerick, North Tipperary|
|South-East||Carlow, Kilkenny, South Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford|
|West||Galway, Mayo, Roscommon|
On 1999-07-21 the level-2 NUTS areas became regions, each with a regional assembly. The eight regional authorities were abolished on 2014-06-01. Yet another change was made on 2015-01-01, replacing the two regions with three. The following table shows the composition of these three regions, each of which has its own assembly. Eastern & Midland region was formed by taking part of Border, Midlands and Western and part of Southern and Eastern, which seems logical. Comparing the new regions with the historic provinces, we find that Northern & Western is equivalent to Connaught and the portion of Ulster that remains in the Irish Republic. Southern is equivalent to Connacht plus three counties of Leinster. Eastern & Midland is the rest of Leinster.
|Eastern & Midland||Dublin, Kildare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Meath, Offaly, Westmeath, Wicklow||Ballymun, Dublin|
|Northern & Western||Cavan, Donegal, Galway, Leitrim, Mayo, Monaghan, Roscommon, Sligo||Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon|
|Southern||Carlow, Clare, Cork, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Wexford||Waterford|
All of the counties lie primarily on the main island, Ireland. Other islands occupied are listed for each county, roughly in order of decreasing size.
The UN LOCODE page for Ireland lists locations in the country, some of them with their latitudes and longitudes, some with their ISO 3166-2 codes for their subdivisions. This information can be put together to approximate the territorial extent of subdivisions.
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