Waterford facts for kids
From top, left to right: Waterford Marina, Holy Trinity Cathedral, Reginald's Tower, a piece of Waterford Crystal, Waterford City by night.
|Motto: Urbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia (Latin)
"Waterford remains the untaken city"
|• Total||41.58 km2 (16.05 sq mi)|
|• Density||1,239.03/km2 (3,209.1/sq mi)|
|Time zone||WET (UTC0)|
|• Summer (DST)||IST (UTC+1)|
|Area code(s)||051 (+35351)|
Waterford (from Old Norse Veðrafjǫrðr, meaning "ram (wether) fjord", Irish: Port Láirge) is a city in Ireland. It is in the South-East Region, Ireland and is part of the province of Munster. The city is situated at the head of Waterford Harbour. It is the oldest and the fifth most populous city in the Republic of Ireland. It is the eighth most populous city on the island of Ireland. Waterford City and County Council is the local government authority for the city. Waterford is known for Waterford Crystal, a legacy of the city's former glass-making industry. . According to the 2011 Census, 65,928 people live in the Waterford Metropolitan District, however this figure does not include its suburbs in County Kilkenny and County Wexford. There are over 80,000 people within a 15 km radius of the city centre.
Geography and local government
With a population of 51,519, Waterford is the fifth most populous city in the State and the 32nd most populous area of local government.
Following the Local Government Reform Act 2014, Waterford City and County Council is the local government authority for the city. The authority came into operation on 1 June 2014. Prior to this the city had its own local council, Waterford City Council. The new Council is the result of a merger of Waterford City Council and Waterford County Council. The Council has 32 representatives (councillors) who are elected from five electoral areas. The city itself forms three of the electoral areas – which when combined form the Metropolitan District of Waterford – and returns a total of 18 councillors to Waterford City and County Council. Residents in these areas are restricted to voting for candidates located in their ward for local elections. The office of the Mayor of Waterford was established in 1377. A mayor is then elected by the councillors from the two electoral areas of the Metropolitan District of Waterford every year, and there is no limit to the number of terms an individual may serve. Mary O'Halloran who was mayor during 2007–2008 was the first woman to hold the post. The current mayor is Adam Wyse.
For the purposes of elections to Dáil Éireann, the city is part of the Waterford constituency, which includes the county of Waterford except for those parts of the county near Clonmel that lie in Tipperary South. The constituency elects four deputies to Dáil Éireann. There are no such ward restrictions for these elections and voters are entitled to vote for any candidate throughout the city and county.
Viking raiders first established a settlement near Waterford in 853. It and all the other longphorts were vacated in 902, the Vikings having been driven out by the native Irish. The Vikings re-established themselves in Ireland at Waterford in 914, led at first by Ottir Iarla (Jarl Ottar) until 917, and after that by Ragnall ua Ímair and the Uí Ímair dynasty, and built what would be Ireland's first city. Among the most prominent rulers of Waterford was Ivar of Waterford.
In 1167, Diarmait Mac Murchada, the deposed King of Leinster, failed in an attempt to take Waterford. He returned in 1170 with Cambro-Norman mercenaries under Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke (known as Strongbow); together they besieged and took the city after a desperate defence. In furtherance of the Norman invasion of Ireland, King Henry II of England landed at Waterford in 1171. Waterford and then Dublin were declared royal cities, with Dublin also declared capital of Ireland.
See Annals of Inisfallen (AI)
- AI926.2 The fleet of Port Láirge [came] over land, and they settled on Loch Gair.
- AI927.2 A slaughter of the foreigners of Port Láirge [was inflicted] at Cell Mo-Chellóc by the men of Mumu and by the foreigners of Luimnech.
- AI984.2 A great naval expedition(?) by the sons of Aralt to Port Láirge, and they and the son of Cennétig exchanged hostages there as a guarantee of both together providing a hosting to attack Áth Cliath. The men of Mumu assembled and proceeded to Mairg Laigen, and the foreigners overcame the Uí Cheinnselaig and went by sea; and the men of Mumu, moreover, devastated Osraige in the same year, and its churches, and the churches of Laigin, and the fortifications of both were laid waste, and Gilla Pátraic, son of Donnchadh, was released.
- AI1018.5 Death of Ragnall son of Ímar, king of Port Láirge.
- AI1031.9 Cell Dara and Port Láirge were burned.
Throughout the medieval period, Waterford was Ireland's second city after Dublin. In the 15th century Waterford repelled two pretenders to the English throne: Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck. As a result, King Henry VII gave the city its motto: Urbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia (Waterford remains the untaken city).
After the Protestant Reformation, Waterford remained a Catholic city and participated in the confederation of Kilkenny – an independent Catholic government from 1642 to 1649. This was ended abruptly by Oliver Cromwell, who brought the country back under English rule; his son-in-law Henry Ireton finally took Waterford in 1650 after a major siege.
The 18th century was a period of huge prosperity for Waterford. Most of the city's best architecture appeared during this time. A permanent military presence was established in the city with the completion of the Cavalry Barracks at the end of the 18th century.
In the early 19th century, Waterford City was deemed vulnerable and the British government erected three Martello towers on the Hook Peninsula to reinforce the existing Fort at Duncannon. During the 19th century, great industries such as glass making and ship building thrived in the city.
The city was represented in the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1891 to 1918 by John Redmond MP, leader (from January 1900) of the Irish Parliamentary Party. Redmond, then leader of the pro-Parnell faction of the party, defeated David Sheehy in 1891. In 1911, Br. Jerome Foley, Br. Dunstan Drumm and Br. Leopold Loughran left Waterford for Malvern, Australia. Here, they founded a Catholic college which is still in existence today. In July 1922, Waterford was the scene of fighting between Irish Free State and Irish Republican troops during the Irish Civil War.
The city is situated at the head of Waterford Harbour (Irish: Loch Dá Chaoch or Cuan Phort Láirge). The city motto Urbs Intacta Manet Waterfordia ("Waterford remains the untaken city") was granted by King Henry VII of England in 1497 after Waterford refused to recognise the claims of the pretenders Lambert Simnel and Perkin Warbeck to the English throne. Waterford was subjected to two sieges in 1649 and 1650, during the Cromwellian conquest of Ireland. It withstood the first siege but surrendered during the second siege to Henry Ireton on 6 August 1650.
Reginald's Tower is the oldest urban civic building in Ireland, and the oldest monument to retain its Viking name. To this day, it remains Waterford's most recognisable landmark. It is believed to be the first building in Ireland to use mortar. The River Suir, which flows through Waterford City, has provided a basis for the city's long maritime history. The place downriver from Waterford where the Nore and the Barrow join the River Suir is known in Irish as Cumar na dTrí Uisce ("The confluence of the three waters"). Waterford Port has been one of Ireland's major ports for over a millennium. In the 19th century, shipbuilding was a major industry. The owners of the Neptune Shipyard, the Malcomson family, built and operated the largest fleet of iron steamers in the world between the mid-1850s and the late 1860s, including five trans-Atlantic passenger liners.
Today, Waterford is known for Waterford Crystal, a legacy of the city's former glass making industry. Glass, or crystal, was manufactured in the city from 1783 until early 2009, when the factory there was shut down after the receivership of Waterford Wedgwood plc. The Waterford Crystal visitor centre in the Viking Quarter, under new owners, opened in June 2010, after the intervention of Waterford City Council and Waterford Chamber of Commerce, and resumed production.
Waterford is also known for being the "starting point" of one of the biggest European airlines (as of 2013) – Ryanair's first flight was a 14-seat Embraer Bandeirante turboprop aircraft, flying between Waterford and Gatwick Airport.
The climate of Waterford is, like the rest of Ireland, classified as a maritime temperate climate (Cfb) according to the Köppen climate classification system. It is mild and changeable with abundant rainfall and a lack of temperature extremes. The counties in the Waterford area are often referred to as the 'Sunny Southeast'. The hottest months of the year are June, July and August with temperatures of around 17 – 22 degrees. Waterford gets rainfall all year round and the wettest months are October, November, December and January.
|Climate data for Waterford (Tycor) (1981–2010 averages)|
|Average high °C (°F)||8.4
|Average low °C (°F)||3.0
|Precipitation mm (inches)||108.1
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||14.5||10.8||11||10.5||10.3||10.2||9.9||9.7||10.1||13.8||12.6||13.3||137|
|Source: European Climate Assessment and Dataset|
- Waterford Museum of Treasures, forming the hub of the Viking Triangle, previously housed in the Granary on Merchant's Quay, is now accommodated in two museums on the Mall. The first is housed in the 19th-century Bishop's Palace, on the Mall, which holds items from 1700–1970. This was opened in June 2011. The second museum is located next to Bishop's Palace displaying the Medieval history of the city as well as the Chorister's Hall.
- As well as the above, The Mall now contains Reginald's Tower, The House of Waterford Crystal, Christchurch Cathedral, and the Theatre Royal among various other historical landmarks.
- Reginald's Tower, the oldest urban civic building in the country, is situated on the Quays/The Mall, in Waterford. It has performed numerous functions over the years and today is a civic museum.
- A museum at Mount Sion (Barrack Street) is dedicated to the story of Brother Edmund Ignatius Rice and the history of the Christian Brothers and Presentation Brothers. Along with the museum there is a café and a new chapel. The new museum was designed by Janvs Design
- Waterford Municipal Art Gallery has been housed in Greyfriars since 2001. It is the permanent home for the Municipal Art Collection, "A Gem Among Municipal Collections", over 200 paintings by Irish and International artists, including pieces from renowned artists such as Jack B Yeats, Paul Henry, Charles Lamb and Louis Le Brocquy. Garter Lane Arts Centre is located in two separate restored buildings on O'Connell Street. A new contemporary gallery called Soma opened in 2009 on the Mall.
- The Theatre Royal on The Mall, was built in 1876, as part of a remodelled section of City Hall. It is a U-shaped, Victorian theatre, seating about 600 people.
- Garter Lane Arts Centre is housed in two conserved 18th-century buildings on O'Connell Street. Garter Lane Gallery, the 18th-century townhouse of Samuel Barker contains the gallery and the Bausch & Lomb Dance Studio, and Garter Lane Theatre is based in the beautiful Quaker Meeting House, built in 1792. The theatre was renovated and restored in 2006 and now contains a 164-seat auditorium.
- St. John's College, Waterford was a Catholic seminary founded in 1807 for the diocese, in the 1830s the college established a mission to Newfoundland in Canada. It closed as a seminary in 1999 and in 2007 much of its building and lands were sold to the Respond Housing association.
- Theatre companies. There are three theatre companies, Red Kettle, Spraoi and Waterford Youth Arts. Red Kettle is a professional theatre company based in Waterford that regularly performs in Garter Lane Theatre. Spraoi is a street theatre company based in Waterford. It produces the Spraoi festival, and has participated regularly in the Waterford and Dublin St. Patrick's day parades, often winning best float. In January 2005 the company staged its biggest and most prestigious production to date, "Awakening", the Opening Show for Cork 2005 European Capital of Culture. Waterford Youth Arts (WYA), formerly known as Waterford Youth Drama, was established in August 1985. WYA has grown from the voluntary efforts of two individuals and 25 young people, to a fully structured youth arts organisation with a paid staff and 400 young people taking part each week. Notable playwrights include Jim Nolan, who co-founded Red Kettle Theatre Company.
- Libraries There are three public libraries in the city, all operated by Waterford City Council: Central Library, in Lady Lane; Ardkeen Library, in the Ardkeen shopping centre on the Dunmore Road; and Brown's Road Library, on Paddy Brown's Road. Central Library, or Waterford City Library, opened in 1905. It was the first of many Irish libraries funded by businessman Andrew Carnegie (Carnegie funded 2,509 libraries across the world). It was renovated in 2004 for its centenary.
- The Barrack Street Concert Band A band established in 1870 and is one of the only bands in Ireland to have unbroken service through a civil war and two World Wars. They have a long and rich history. In 1982 they changed their name to The Barrack Street Concert Band. The new name reflected a change in instrumentation including flutes,saxophones,oboes and a full percussion section which led to more members joining and a wider variety of music being played. In 1994 the band won the All Ireland Senior Military Band Championships in Wesley collage Dublin under the Baton of Mr Niall O'Connor and 10 years later, in 2004, the band won the South of Ireland Senior Military band Championships in Clonakilty Co Cork under the Baton of the band's current musical director Mr Mark Fitzgerald.
- Waterford Film For All (WFFA) is a non-profit film society whose aim is to offer an alternative to the cineplex experience in Waterford. WFFA conducts much of its activities on the Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) campus.
- Cinema – Odeon Cinema in the Railway Square complex. Omniplex Cinema-Patrick Street
- The Waterford Film Festival was established in 2007 by local filmmaker Stephen Byrne. His objective was to bring something new Waterford's arts and cultural scene, promoting local, national filmmakers and writers, but in particular independent film. www.waterfordfilmfestival.net
- Waterford Music Fest, launched in 2011, is an outdoor, one day music event which takes place in the heart of Waterford City during the summer. In 2011 Waterford Music Fest, organised by Music Events Ireland, was headined by 50 Cent, Flo Rida and G-Unit. Over 10,000 people attended the 2011 event.
- Spraoi festival, (pronounced 'Spree') organised by the Spraoi Theatre Company, is a professional festival and street arts organisation which takes over the city centre of Waterford on the August Bank Holiday Weekend. It attracts audiences in excess of 80,000 people to the city.
- Waterford International Festival of Light Opera is an annual event that has been held in the Theatre Royal since 1959. It has recently been rebranded as the Waterford International Festival of Music and now takes place in November.
- Tall Ships Festival, held in Waterford in 2005, marked the start of the Tall Ships race of that year. The Suir river provided the berthing location for the tall ships (up to 90) that lined the north and south quays for almost a week. The festival attracted in the region of 450,000 people to the city. Waterford hosted the start of the Tall Ships race again in 2011.
- Waterford Harvest Food Festival takes place annually in September along the Quays. The festival offers visitors demonstrations, workshops and tours of local producers, numerous markets, tastings and dinners.
- St. Patrick's Day parade takes place annually on 17 March.
- There are two Arts Festivals of note in the city: The Imagine Arts Festival in October and The Fringe Arts Festival in September.
- Waterford Winterval an annual Christmas festival held in the city centre.
Places of interest
The city of Waterford consists of various cultural quarters, the oldest of which is known as Viking Triangle. This is the part of the city surrounded by the original 10th century fortifications, which is triangular in shape with its apex at Reginald's Tower. Though this was once the site of a thriving Viking city, the city centre has shifted to the west over the years, and it is now a quiet and tranquil area, dominated by narrow streets, medieval architecture, and civic spaces. Over the past decade, a number of restaurants have opened in High Street and Henrietta Street, taking advantage of the charming character of the area. Much of Waterford's impressive architecture is to be found in the 'Viking Triangle'.
In the 15th century, the city was enlarged with the building of an outer wall on the west side. Today Waterford retains more of its city walls than any other city in Ireland with the exception of Derry, whose walls were built much later. Tours of Waterford's city walls are conducted daily.
The Quay, once termed by historian Mark Girouard 'the noblest quay in Europe', is a mile long from Grattan Quay to Adelphi Quay, though Adelphi Quay is now a residential area. It is still a major focal point for Waterford, commercially and socially, and the face that Waterford presents to those travelling into the city from the north. Near Reginald's Tower is the William Vincent Wallace Plaza, a monument and amenity built around the time of the millennium that commemorates the Waterford born composer.
John Roberts Square is a pedestrianised area that is one of the main focal points of Waterford's modern day commercial centre. It was named after the city's most celebrated architect, John Roberts, and was formed from the junction of Barronstrand Street, Broad Street and George's Street. It is often referred to locally as Red Square, due to the red paving that was used when the area was first pedestrianised. A short distance to the east of John Roberts Square is Arundel Square, another square with a fine commercial tradition, which the City Square shopping centre opens onto.
Ballybricken, in the west, just outside the city walls, is thought to have been Waterford's Irishtown, a type of settlement that often formed outside Irish cities to house the Vikings and Irish that had been expelled during the Norman invasion of Ireland. Ballybricken is an inner city neighbourhood with a long tradition, centred around Ballybricken hill, which was a large, open market-square. Today it has been converted into a green, civic space, but the Bull Post, where livestock was once bought and sold, still stands as a remnant of the hill's past.
The Mall is a fine Georgian thoroughfare, built by the Wide Streets Commission to extend the city southwards. It contains some of the city's finest Georgian architecture. The People's Park, Waterford's largest and finest park, is located nearby.
Ferrybank, in County Waterford, is Waterford's only suburb north of the river. It contains a village centre of its own.
In April 2003 an important site combining a 5th-century Iron Age and 9th century Viking settlement was discovered at Woodstown near the city, which appears to have been a Viking town that predates all such settlements in Ireland.
Waterford Crystal is manufactured in Waterford but in early 2009 the company moved it operations to continental Europe. A new Waterford Crystal visitor centre opened on 22 June 2010.
Waterford's oldest public house (pub) can be found just outside the old 'Viking Triangle'. T & H Doolan's, of 31/32 George's Street, has been officially active and open to the public for over three hundred years. The official record of licences dates back to the 18th century but the premises is believed to be closer to five hundred years in age. A main element of the structure includes one of the original city walls, almost 1,000 years old, which can be viewed in the lounge area of the building.
The M9 motorway, which was completed on 9 September 2010, connects the city to Dublin. The N24 road connects the city to Limerick city. The N25 road connects the city to Cork city. The route traverses the River Suir via the River Suir Bridge. This cable-stayed bridge is the longest single bridge span in Ireland at 230m. The route continues eastwards to Rosslare Harbour.
- Waterford railway station is the only railway station in the county of Waterford. It is operated by Iarnród Éireann and provides 8 daily return services to Dublin and a Monday–Saturday commuter service to Limerick Junction via Clonmel with onward connections to Limerick, Ennis, Athenry, Galway, Cork and Killarney, Tralee. The line between Waterford and Rosslare Harbour ceased passenger services in 2010 and is replaced by Bus Éireann route 370. The station is directly connected to Waterford Port (Belview). A freight yard is located at the Dublin/Limerick end of the station, served by freight traffic such as cargo freight and timber which travel to and from Dublin Port and Ballina
Bus services operate throughout the city centre and across the region.
- Bus Éireann route number 4 provides a regular service to Dublin.
- Route 40 provides an hourly service to Cork which continues to Killarney and Tralee. This route also serves Rosslare Harbour and Wexford.
- Route 55 connects to Limerick, Clonmel, Cahir & Tipperary. Connections can be made at Limerick for Galway, Ennis & Shannon Airport
Waterford city routes are provided by Bus Éireann and local operator Kenneally's 601 The Quay – Ballybeg 602 Patrick street – Saint John's park 603 The Quay – Waterford Institute of technology 604 The Quay – Carrickpherish Roundabout 605 Oakwood – Waterford Regional Hospital via city centre
607 Ardkeen (Tesco)-Slieverue via city centre (clock tower) 617 Ballygunner-Slieverue via city centre (clock tower)
JJ Kavanagh and Sons offers daily services to Dublin Airport via Carlow, while Dublin Coach serves Cork, Kilkenny and Dublin on its M9 route.
The Waterford Greenway is Ireland's longest greenway, and connects the city with Mount Congreve, Kilmeaden, Kilmacthomas, and Dungarvan.
Daily Coach service operated by Eurolines (National Express and Bus Éireann) to the United Kingdom as service 890 to Pembroke Dock, Kilgetty, Carmarthen, Pont Abraham, Cardiff, Bristol, Reading and London Victoria
Waterford Airport is located 9 km outside the city centre.
Car rental services in Waterford are offered by Europcar, Hertz, and Enterprise.
|Waterford City East||22,340|
|Waterford City South||20,681|
|Tramore & Waterford City West||22,907|
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