Waterford

/waw"teuhr feuhrd, wot"euhr-/, n.
1. a county in Munster province, in the S Republic of Ireland. 50,190; 710 sq. mi. (1840 sq. km).
2. its county seat: a seaport. 38,457.
3. a town in SE Connecticut. 17,843.

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      town (township), New London county, southeastern Connecticut, U.S., on Long Island Sound just west of the city of New London. The area, settled about 1653, was separated from New London and incorporated as a town in 1801. Drained by the Thames and Niantic rivers, it has a name descriptive of local fordable shallows. Early industries included paper mills and a granite quarry, which was a source of millstones. It remained a rural residential suburb until after 1950, when several industrial parks were established (mainly for offices, warehouses, and light engineering plants). The Millstone Nuclear Power Plant is part of the New England Power Pool, the region's power network. Waterford is the home of the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center (1963) and its annual National Playwrights' Conference. Area 33 square miles (85 square km). Pop. (1990) 17,930; (2000) 19,152.

Irish  Port Láirge 

      city, port, county borough of County Waterford, and the major town of southeastern Ireland. It is on the south bank of the River Suir, 4 miles (6 km) above its junction with the Barrow (Barrow, River) and at the head of Waterford Harbour. It is Ireland's oldest city.

      Waterford Harbour is a winding and well-sheltered bay formed by the estuary of the Suir and the joint estuary of the Nore and Barrow. The Suir is navigable to Waterford for vessels drawing 22 feet (6.7 metres).

      The Vikings established Waterford as a walled city in the 9th century—the Norsemen enclosed some 15 acres (6 hectares) of the city with walls and fortifications that were rebuilt by the Normans—and it became a cathedral city in 1096. Richard FitzGilbert, the 2nd earl of Pembroke (Pembroke, Richard FitzGilbert, 2nd Earl of), known as Strongbow, captured Waterford in 1170, and Henry II landed there in 1171. In 1205 the city of Waterford received its first charter from King John, who also defined the shire (county). In the later Middle Ages the city was virtually an independent commune. In 1603 it took a prominent part in opposition to the government and the Anglican church but submitted on the approach of the forces of Baron Charles Blount, the 8th lord of Mountjoy (Mountjoy, Charles Blount, 8th Lord), lord deputy of Ireland. It resisted Oliver Cromwell (Cromwell, Oliver) in 1649 but surrendered to his son-in-law Henry Ireton (Ireton, Henry) in 1650. The city sent two members to Parliament from 1374 to 1885, when the number was reduced to one. In 1898 it became a county borough.

      On Waterford Quay is Reginald's Tower, thought to be Europe's oldest mortared stone tower, which dates from about the 12th century and is now a civic museum. Waterford's Roman Catholic cathedral was completed in 1796, and its Church of Ireland (Anglican) cathedral was built in 1773–79 on the site of a church founded about 1050. Other significant buildings include the remains of a Dominican friary and Reginald's Tower.

      Waterford is an important export centre for fruit and meat, notably for containerized goods. The main industries are food processing, brewing, papermaking, and glassmaking; Waterford Crystal (Waterford glass) is world famous. There are also chemical, pharmaceutical, and light manufacturing plants. The city is the headquarters of extensive salmon and sea fisheries and is the most important port on the south coast after Cork. Waterford has a vibrant cultural life. Its Theatre Royal hosts the annual Waterford International Festival of Light Opera. The city is also the site of a regional technical college. Pop. (2002) 44,594.

Irish  Port Láirge 

      county in the province of Munster, southern Ireland. It is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the south and from west to east by Counties Cork, Tipperary, Kilkenny, and Wexford. The county's northern boundary follows the River Suir through the city of Waterford.

      Included within the county are the lower reaches of the Rivers Blackwater and Bride. The upland areas of Waterford are mainly ridges 600–800 feet (180–240 metres) high, grading into lowlands and marked by ranges of mountains, principally the Knockmealdowns, Comeraghs, and Monavullaghs, all reaching elevations of about 2,300 feet (700 metres). The Comeraghs and Monavullaghs make up a single range that includes Coumshingaun, a steep-walled basin, or cirque, with sides 1,000 feet (300 metres) high. To the east of the Comeraghs the older rocks form a lowland surrounded by sharp hills drained by the River Clodiagh. Most of the coast is cliff, though there are bays at Tramore, Dungarvan, and Ardmore.

      The county council meets in Dungarvan, and there is a county manager. Dungarvan is an urban district, and the administratively independent Waterford city is a county borough. Much of the county is under crops and pasture, though there are some fine woods on the hill slopes and on estates. Permanent grass covers about two-thirds of the total farmed area in the county, hay nearly one-tenth, and crops more than one-fifth, with oats as the main cereal crop. Dairying, beef cattle, and sheep are important sources of income. Waterford is noteworthy for its coastal trade, its agricultural industries, and its traditional glassmaking industry. Tourism also has become an important source of income.

      Waterford city, of Norse foundation and an important port and centre of trade, was a bridgehead for the Anglo-Normans in the 12th century. The eastern part of the county came under the control of the Le Poers, or Powers, family, and the western part, called the Decies, came under a branch of the Fitzgeralds. The city had a period of prosperity in the 18th century, and some of the smaller towns were improved. The native Irish character of the population was never wholly obliterated; and in the west, near Dungarvan, Gaelic continued to be spoken into the 20th century. Area excluding Waterford county borough, 701 square miles (1,816 square km). Pop. (2002) excluding Waterford county borough, 56,952.

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Universalium. 2010.

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