County Tipperary

County Tipperary
County Tipperary
Contae Thiobraid Árann

Coat of arms
Country Ireland
Province Munster
Dáil Éireann Tipperary North
Tipperary South
EU Parliament South
County seat North: Nenagh
South: Clonmel
 - Total 4,303 km2 (1,661.4 sq mi)
Area rank 6th
Population (2011) 158,652
 - Rank 11th[1]
Car plates North: TN
South: TS

County Tipperary (Irish: Contae Thiobraid Árann) is a county of Ireland. The area is covered by two local authorities, North Tipperary County Council, part of the Mid-West Region and South Tipperary County Council, part of the South-East Region. It is located in the province of Munster and is named after the town of Tipperary. The population is 158,652 according to the 2011 census.


Geography and political subdivisions

The Galtee Mountains seen from the Glen of Aherlow.

Tipperary is the sixth largest of the 32 counties by area and the 11th largest by population.[2] It is the third largest of Munster’s 6 counties by size and the third largest by population. The region is part of the central plain of Ireland, but the diversified terrain contains several mountain ranges: the Knockmealdown, the Galtee, the Arra Hills and the Silvermine. The southern portion of the county is drained by the River Suir; the northern by tributaries of the Shannon which widens into Lough Derg. No part of the county touches the coast. The centre is known as 'the Golden Vale', a rich pastoral stretch of land in the Suir basin which extends into counties Limerick and Cork.


Cahir on the banks of the Suir

There are six historic baronies in North Tipperary: Eliogarty, Ikerrin, Ormond Upper, Ormond Lower, Owney and Arra and Kilnamanagh Upper, with a further six lying in South Tipperary: Clanwilliam, Kilnamanagh Lower, Iffa and Offa East, Iffa and Offa West, Middle Third, and Slievardagh.

Civil parishes and townlands

Parishes were delineated after the Down Survey as an intermediate subdivision, with multiple townlands per parish and multiple parishes per barony. The civil parishes had some use in local taxation and were included on the nineteenth century maps of the Ordnance Survey of Ireland.[3] For poor law purposes, District Electoral Divisions replaced the civil parishes in the mid-nineteenth century. There are 199 civil parishes in the county.[4] Townlands are the smallest officially defined geographical divisions in Ireland; there are 3159 townlands in the county.[5]

Towns and villages

Landscape in the Knockmealdowns
Ardfinnan Castle, Ardfinnan.


Tipperary was one of the first parts of Ireland to be shired during the 13th century following the Norman invasion of Ireland.[citation needed] For all local government purposes the county is divided into North Tipperary (county town: Nenagh) and South Tipperary (county town: Clonmel). This division dates back to the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, with the county's two "ridings" having had separate assize courts for much longer. The use of riding for the divisions was an historical misnomer, since the word derives from the dividing of an area into three parts. The expression "riding" has been discontinued for official purposes since 2002 (Local Government Act, 2001 section 10 and schedule 5).

Local government and politics

The area of the county is now covered by two local administrative authorities: North Tipperary County Council and South Tipperary County Council. They rank equally as first level local administrative units of the NUTS 3 Mid-West Region for Eurostat purposes. There are 34 LAU 1 entities in the Republic of Ireland. Both local authorities are responsible for certain local services such as sanitation, planning and development, libraries, the collection of motor taxation, local roads and social housing. The county is part of the South constituency for the purposes of European elections. For elections to Dáil Éireann, the county is divided into two constituencies: Tipperary North and Tipperary South. Together they return 6 deputies (TDs) to the Dáil.


Hurling team in Semple Stadium, Thurles - Home of Tipperary GAA.

Tipperary is sometimes referred to as the "Premier County", a description attributed[citation needed] to Thomas Davis, Editor of The Nation newspaper in the 1840s as a tribute to the nationalistic feeling in Tipperary and said[citation needed] that "where Tipperary leads, Ireland follows". Tipperary was the subject of the famous song "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" written by Jack Judge, whose grandparents came from the county. It was popular with regiments of the British army during World War I. The song "Slievenamon", which is traditionally associated with the county, was written by Charles Kickham from Mullinahone, and is commonly sung at sporting fixtures involving the county.[12]


Magners, Tipperary's most famous export

The area around Clonmel is the economic hub of the county: to the west of the town the manufacturers Bulmers (brewers) and Merck & Co. (pharmaceuticals). There is much fertile land, especially in the region known as the Golden Vale, one of the richest agricultural areas in Ireland. Dairy farming and cattle raising are the principal occupations.[citation needed] Other industries are slate quarrying and the manufacture of meal and flour.

Tipperary is famous for its horse breeding industry and is the home of Coolmore Stud, the largest thoroughbred breeding operation in the world.[citation needed]

Tourism plays a significant role in County Tipperary - Lough Derg, Thurles, Rock of Cashel, Ormonde Castle, Ahenny High Crosses, Cahir Castle, Bru Boru Heritage Centre and Tipperary Crystal are some of the primary tourist destinations in the county.


Road transport dominates in County Tipperary. The M7 motorway crosses the north of the county through Roscrea and Nenagh and the M8 motorway bisects the county from north of Two-Mile Borris to the County Limerick border. Both routes are amongst some of the busiest roads on the island. The Limerick to Waterford N24 crosses the southern half of Tipperary, travelling through Tipperary Town, Bansha, north of Cahir and around Clonmel and Carrick-on-Suir. Tipperary also has a number or railway stations situated on the Dublin to Cork, Dublin to Limerick and Limerick to Waterford rail lines.


County Tipperary has a strong sporting history and is home to the Gaelic Games of Hurling, Gaelic football, Camogie and Handball. It nurtures the ancient game of hurling and since the 19th century its teams have regularly been champions of Ireland.

Places of interest

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Corry, Eoghan (2005). The GAA Book of Lists. Hodder Headline Ireland. pp. 186–191. 
  3. ^ "Interactive map (civil parish boundaries viewable in Historic layer)". Mapviewer. Ordnance Survey of Ireland. Retrieved 9 March 2010. 
  4. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland - Tipperary civil parishes.
  5. ^ Placenames Database of Ireland - Tipperary townlands.
  6. ^ For 1653 and 1659 figures from Civil Survey Census of those years, Paper of Mr Hardinge to Royal Irish Academy March 14, 1865.
  7. ^ Census for post 1821 figures.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ Lee, JJ (1981). "On the accuracy of the Pre-famine Irish censuses". In Goldstrom, J. M.; Clarkson, L. A.. Irish Population, Economy, and Society: Essays in Honour of the Late K. H. Connell. Oxford, England: Clarendon Press. 
  11. ^ Mokyr, Joel; O Grada, Cormac (November). "New Developments in Irish Population History, 1700-1850". The Economic History Review 37 (4): 473–488. doi:10.1111/j.1468-0289.1984.tb00344.x. 
  12. ^

External links

Coordinates: 52°40′N 7°50′W / 52.667°N 7.833°W / 52.667; -7.833

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