Template talk:Counties of Ireland

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Ireland (Rated Template-class)
WikiProject iconThis template is within the scope of WikiProject Ireland, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Ireland on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
 Template  This template does not require a rating on the project's quality scale.

Historic vs Administrative[edit]

I reverted the changes made by User:LocGov because they left the template in an inconsistent state.

  • the tildes were intended to indicate repetition of the name of the preceding county. "Fingal~" and "South Dublin~" make no sense.
  • the template continues to state "(parentheses) denotes non-traditional counties" even though 3 of the four new Dublin counties are no longer in parentheses.

The current template attempts to combine representation of traditional/historic and current/administrative counties, while enabling both to be distinguished, and showing which of the latter correspond to which of the former. I don't believe putting the administrative counties of Leinster in alphabetical order is an improvement, as it loses some of the information available from the previous format. (South Dublin is the only one not currently in alphabetical order anyway; I believe this represents less of an imperfection.) The reference to the statute book in the edit comment suggests it is desired to emphasise the current administrative counties of the Republic. If this is so, then all the other items (Dublin, Tipperary, Antrim, etc) should be removed for true consistency. I won't vote for that, but if that's the consensus then at least do it thoroughly. Joestynes 03:51, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I think in any case cities should be removed Djegan 17:54, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I disagree. Cities have the same administrative status as counties. The distinction is as slight as when the Tipperarys were "Ridings" . Dublin City has an area of the same order as DLR and South Dublin. Joestynes 09:34, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Cities have a similar status to counties, but a city is not a county this is why we have Template:IrishCities. Also removing them keeps things neat and tidy. Djegan 18:03, 13 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Template:IrishCities includes Kilkenny, which is not a County borough. Tidiness is fine as long as we're not oversimplifying reality. I would hate to see the Republic of Ireland not having some infobox somewhere which contained all its current administrative divisions. (Template:Australia and Template:Canada include both States/Provinces and Territories.) I realise trying to accommodate both traditional counties and administrative divisions in the same template is going to involve compromises; I just don't believe removing the Country Boroughs is the best available compromise. Joestynes 05:40, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)
Your quite right Kilkenny is not a county borough but the law makes it clear that this does not predice its right to be discribed as a city [1] and most would agree that this (city) is the more used and recognised definition of the area, certainly from a cultural aspect. Thus it will not be added to the county template nor removed from the city one. However this still leaves us with the duplication, and it is this that mainly concerns me, as the table is at the moment it is neither adminstratively or traditionally correct but also a mixture of cities and counties. Cities and counties in the Republic of Ireland are the "unit of value" administratively but culturally this is almost exclusively the right of counties and I agree that this creates some unique difficulties as a way forward. Theirfore I recommend that we leave the template as it is for the moment as their is little chance of final decision and also a bit of experienced use may be benificial. Djegan 17:58, 14 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I agree that a single table which includes both cities and counties would be appropriate, in separate sections. Also, until further developments in the identity of the new counties takes place and it becomes more obvious to the public, I think having a separate section for "new counties" (vs. traditional - both appropriately vague) is preferential to trying to integrate them as solely administrative units of historical counties - I know that was not the intention but it is implied by brackets and other formatting. The intention of my link to the Statute Book was not to show current administrative divisions, but to show the cities and counties of Ireland as existing under law. This is the only such list. Within 10 years, it is anticipated that the Dublin counties will be recognised as full counties, with GAA teams, new addresses (and potentially, names) etc -see strategies of Development Boards of respective councils- and so it is highly restrictive that they would be confined to administrative definition in this table. Given the scope of the Local Government Act 2001, and the establishment of County Development Boards in 2002, it is fair to say that the Dublin counties had solely administrative function from 1994-2002. Comparing the Dublin situation to Tipperary would not be apt in this scenario because of the demographics involved. Dublin has been identified as needing more local level identity, by all four Dublin local authorities and by the Dept. of E,H,LG. Whether Tipperary follows suit is a matter for the authorities in that area, indeed people might use the Dublin example to create new county-level identities in Tipperary. I would recommend a revert to a single table listing:

Traditional Counties

New Counties


With same formatting in all 3 to imply, correctly, that they each have the same status. Tipperary and Dublin need not be altered or formatted differently in the table at this stage. Also, to note that the issue of the administrative counties in NI does not apply if the list is meant to be from an "Irish perspective". It is the view of the Government of Ireland, and OSI mapping, that the original NI counties cannot be altered by administrative sub-divisions of the United Kingdom. That is to say, they can continue to be recognised for all intents and purposes, as they remain in having no Irish legislative status (and moreso, were not replaced by counties). This again is different to the Dublin scenario. I hope this information is of use.


I broadly agree with what you have proposed here - it might be ideal to drop the IrishCities template altogetheir and use a single template with all cities and counties? In addition the provinces might best be removed as a method of sorting counties, perhaps in their own section to reduce some clutter? Djegan 11:13, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure what LocGov is saying. The various types don't all have the same status. There are:
  1. admin+trad Wexford, Sligo, etc
  2. admin only Fingal, North Tipp, etc
  3. admin city Cork, Galway etc
  4. city Kilkenny
  5. trad only Dublin Tipperary
  6. trad NI Antrim Down etc
  7. city NI Belfast L*ndonderry
My basic desire is that the current administrative counties are all given equal recognition. Whatever way historic counties and cities can be accommodated around that is fine. If any counties are to be segregated I would much rather they were the old ones than the new ones. Of course, the Counties of Ireland page itself could do with some rework to make the situation clearer. There are a number of possible reworkings of the template:
  • Have separate templates for (1)"adminstrative counties (inc. cities)", (2)"traditional counties", and (3)"cities": The articles for Cork City etc could include both (1) and (3); Tipperary, Antrim etc just (2); Belfast, Derry-City and Kilkenny-City just (3); the rest just (1). The county boroughs and counties could form 2 alphabetical listings in (1), with province-based listings used in (2).
  • A single template listing in separate alphabetical sections (1) all current counties (exc. cities) (2) obsolete traditional counties (3) cities. Would need notes for Northern Ireland and Kilkenny-City.
  • other suggestions? Joestynes 10:54, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)
I agree most with your second proposal but believe that organising by three tiers: (1) the traditional thirty-two counties, purely alphabetic with no provinces (2) the new administrative counties in tipperary and dublin (3) cities of ireland.
This recognises the traditional sense of the counties whilst also integrating new administrative counties and including cities without any undue duplication or separation. Djegan 12:31, 20 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Denoting Counties in Northern Ireland[edit]

Up to my revision (16:37, 8 December 2006) there were footnotes for each county denoting whether or not it was in the Republic of Ireland (RI) or Northern Ireland (NI). This meant that every county had a footnote after it which impeded reading, and looked a bit odd, frankly.

Given that a county can only be in one or the other, it made sense only to have footnotes for one case, with the absence of a footnote indicating the other case.

With a view to minimising the total amount of footnote markers, I choose to mark the counties in Northern Ireland. This isn't political: it simply makes sense to have six footnotes instead of 26. This arrangement works particularly well as the six footnotes only appear in the Ulster category.

I feel this made the template easier to read, while conveying the same amount of information: indeed, by stripping out redundant footnotes, it made the information more accessible.

The choice of Northern Ireland seems to have been a bit controversial though: one contributor decided to go with the messier arrangement (26 footnote markers for RI) to avoid the appearance of "supremacism". This is, I feel, an excessive display of political correctness. 26 footnote markers are harder to read than 6 and look worse. It's a simple matter of mathematics. Politics has absolutely nothing to do with it, and shouldn't.

My problem is that since then another contributor, to avoid the argument, has removed all footnotes, damaging the table, and reducing the amount of information it conveys. I have re-instated my version, what do people think? -- Bryan

Personally I think we could dump the whole four provinces divide, or even totally redesign the template as it is very hidious and complicated and is not what a template should be; a simple, easy to recognise summary of reality, instead we have a patchwork of conflicting ideas (administrative counties (of the Republic), cities (with city councils, in the Republic), partition of Ireland, four provinces divide (purely cultural/historic divide), traditional counties.) Djegan 13:19, 11 December 2006 (UTC)
I do agree that it is quite complicated. I would say list all the traditional counties only, using footnotes to denote those in Northern Ireland (the two Ulsters are a bit confusing). I'd say put the lists of administrative counties either in a new table, or in the existing table under a sub-heading. -- Bryan
I would have to go along with Djegan on this one, this template is a mess. An alternative might be a new template, something along the lines of Historic and administrative divisions of Ireland, giving amongst other things;
  • 2 states
  • 4 Provinces
  • 32 Traditional counties
  • 30+ Adminsitrative counties(RoI)
  • 20+ District councils (NI)
and if something appears on multiple lists, then so be it! I think the inclusion of provinces on the current template adds to the confusion, there is nothing on the template to say that they arent counties, and for someone from outside Ireland chances are they have probably never heard of three of them, and misunderstands the fourth. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Fasach Nua (talkcontribs) 22:11, 11 December 2006 (UTC).


Help! I am doing a small poster on Ireland. i have pictures from a Google image search on Ireland. I desperately need websites that are trustworthy by Tuesday December 18!!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:01, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Wikiproject Ireland notification.[edit]

Please be advised that a name change proposal to this template is under discussion at the Project. Laurel Lodged (talk) 18:21, 11 April 2011 (UTC)


I think we should remove the city councils. This template is for the counties. We alredy hav two templates for the city and county councils (here and here). ~Asarlaí 23:22, 2 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks to the vigilance of a certain hounder, I expect that the first of these will shortly be deleted, which would leave only 1 rather cumbersome template that tries to do too much. Strictly speaking, the traditional counties were always accompanied by the "County of the City of Foo". See Local government in the Republic of Ireland for a fuller exposition of County Boroughs etc. Laurel Lodged (talk) 23:28, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
We shouldn't be including the city councils just becauz they wer once named "county boroughs". This template is for the counties of Ireland; the five city councils arn't counties of Ireland. We alredy hav them on the local government template alongside the other councils, which is wher they belong. ~Asarlaí 23:39, 2 February 2012 (UTC)
Is it your argument that Counties "of the City of Foo" should be excluded because they are not now counties? That is, they were once legal counties but are no longer so. Is that an accurate summary of your position? Laurel Lodged (talk) 15:23, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, my argument is that only counties should be on a "counties of Ireland" template. If we include cities just forwhy they wer once named "county boroughs" then we should also be including the County of Coleraine, the County of Lecale, the County of Cross Tipperary, a.s.f. That'd be silly tho, as this isn't a template for former counties. ~Asarlaí 18:44, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree, it should be for the counties of Ireland only, which was the original intent of the template. There is a separate Template:Cities in Ireland. Snappy (talk) 18:52, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
OK. On that basis, I can agree to the deletion of the cities. Naturally, this means that the former counties of Dublin and Tipperary must also be deleted. Agreed? Laurel Lodged (talk) 19:00, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Counties Dublin and Tipperary arn't former counties like Coleraine and Lecale. They'r no longer uzed for administration but they still exist as traditional counties. ~Asarlaí 19:03, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
There is no reason why the template can't have traditional and administrative counties in it. Snappy (talk) 19:10, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
Counties Coleraine and Lecale are no longer used for administration even though at one time they were traditional. Some were traditional for longer than others. Your link to Cross Tipperary was fascinating. I was not aware of that colourful history. It's clear from that article that the county of Tipperary that exists in the common imagination only took final shape after the abolition of Cross (i.e. 1621). It was then split in 1836. So it really only existed in "traditional form for a little over 200 years. Is that enough for the status of "traditional"? So there is no difference between counties like Coleraine and Lecale and counties like Dublin and Tipperary. Unless you're saying that there are degrees of traditionality. Is that what you're saying? Is the central point here that are of they are no longer used to demarcate an area of local government? If so, then all fail the test - they are all "former". For what other purpose did a county ever serve? If it no longer fulfils its defining function, can it really be said to be current? Laurel Lodged (talk) 19:20, 4 February 2012 (UTC)
In "the common imagination" the 32 counties ar the traditional counties. We can't change that, so it's pointless to argue about it.
This template is for the current counties of Ireland. That means the traditional 32 counties alongside North Tipperary, South Tipperary, Dún Laoghaire, Fingal and South Dublin. ~Asarlaí 04:32, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
It's not my intention here to change anything. I do not propose to engage in OR. However, I must respectfully point out that there is a contradiction in what you have written above. On the one hand you write that the template is "for the current counties of Ireland". I support this. And you have also written higher up that "this isn't a template for former counties". Again, I can support that position. You go on to list examples of former counties. Again, I agreed with the samples supplied. The contradiction arises in your definition of "former". Whereas I had written that it encompassed those counties that were "legal counties" - and you appeared to agree with that definition - you seem to have substituted a different definition for "former" - that of "traditional". This contradiction seems to be the nub of the issue. In my view, it would be a mistake to use "traditional" as the test of "former". This is because the phrase is subjective and capable of differing interpretations depending on who's speaking and in what context. Legal, on the other hand, is capable of objective examination and verification; a county is either used to demarcate an area of local government (outside of the cities) in law or it is not not. Using this simple test, Tipperary and Dublin must be excluded along with the cities. Laurel Lodged (talk) 11:57, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
If we remove Dublin and Tipperary then we'd also hav to remove Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, Tyrone, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Waterford. None of thoze ar uzed for administration with their traditional borders. However, they still exist as traditional counties. ~Asarlaí 15:16, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
Wasn't this all settled on Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Ireland/Archive_14#New_county_intros. in July 2011? It was a discussion on the county intros, and a long discussion on Traditional v. Administrative followed. The result was that for example, County Dublin's intro now reads "County Dublin (Irish: Contae Átha Cliath) is a county in Ireland." No mention of former or traditional. Same should go for this template. Snappy (talk) 15:47, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
@ Snappy: I'm not sure what your argument is, but if you think Counties Dublin and Tipperary belong on this template then we'r in agreement. ~Asarlaí 16:26, 5 February 2012 (UTC)
I think both so-called traditional and so-called administrative should be on this template. Snappy(talk) 16:35, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

Compromise proposal Retain all 32 counties. Delete all eponymous cities. Get rid of the provincial superstructure - it's only a cultural thing and never had any official recognition anyway. Replace it with a superstructure that divides counties into "Traditional" (or "former" or "non administrative" or "non current") and "Current" (or "administrative"). Any takers? Laurel Lodged (talk) 21:54, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

See Template:Counties of Ireland by category for my version of the compromise solution. Laurel Lodged (talk) 21:26, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Nobody agreed with your proposed compromise. The current version is the consensus version and is used on each Province article. Also, do you understand the concept of user space, or do you just like creating lots of duplicate templates? Snappy (talk) 21:29, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Always the bither word. Laurel Lodged (talk) 21:32, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
True to form, more personal attacks, instead of concentrating on this issue at hand. Snappy (talk) 17:55, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Eh? I notice that denunciations of personal attacks by others on you, are invariably accompanied by personal attacks of your own making. The device would be more amusing if only it wasn't so overused. Laurel Lodged (talk) 22:46, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I can see sense in Laurel Lodged's compromise and would back it as a compromise. Mabuska (talk) 00:16, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

I don't. The provinces ar the commonest way of grouping the counties and they'r still uzed across the board; by the government, by the general population and by all in-between. We can mark which counties ar traditional/un-traditional just by adding little symbols; no need for two long lists. I should also point-out that all the administrativ counties ar alredy shown on the other template. We don't need more repetition. ~Asarlaí 11:03, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree, the template is primarily geographic in nature, its about the counties not the councils, no need to just hung up on the tired traditional/non-traditional argument. Snappy (talk) 18:41, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree too. The counties are commonly and traditionally grouped by province. Whilst the cites have the legal status of counties, they are not regarded as such either in common usage or for geographic purposes, and their inclusion would mislead the reader. The current version of the template serves the reader well by setting the 32 traditional counties in the context of the 4 provinces, and the inclusion of the county subdivisions for Tipperary and Dublin has been achieved clearly without making the template over-large.
Laurel Lodged, your obsession with re-categorising and re-labelling the counties has gone on too long. After countless discussions over more than a year, it is clear that your views on the significance of the Eurostat and/or administrative status of counties do not have consensus. Please drop the stick before this tendentious editing gets sanctioned as disruptive. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 04:26, 11 February 2012 (UTC)
What is the objective of this template. Is it to show the current counties? Looking for a simple answer here. Are there two types of counties Geographic and Local Government. DubhEire (talk) 12:10, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Just to clarify my question, are there two different things here Geographic and Admistration that are called county and they can be confused together? For example County Dublin is a geographic area, but in that same physical space there are admistration counties called DLR, Fingal and South Dublin? DubhEire (talk) 12:26, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
(ec)DubhEire, simple answer is "it's to show both types". But that's an over-simplification, and a long answer is better. (Also, I wrote this in answer to your initial post, and before your clarification. So it reflects the questions you asked first).
After several years of on-off discussions, I don't think there is a clearly-defined comprehensive consensus view on what constitutes a county in Ireland. However, I think your suggestion of "two types" of county is a good summary of the solutions which have arisen out of many discussions, and which have now stabilised in practice. But I do think it would be better to say that a county has two functions (local govt and geographic), because a) all counties have a geographic basis, b) all counties have at some point had a local govt role. In most such discussions editors have therefore referred to "traditional counties" (those which have existed since the 19th century) and "administrative counties" (those with a current local govt function). There is a huge overlap between the two sets: 75% of the traditional 32 counties are current units of local govt, and 82% of the 29 current local govt counties are traditional counties.
Laurel Lodge's oft-repeated view is that there are only administrative counties, because he believes that without an administrative role a county ceases to exist. That proposition has never found a consensus, but on the other hand I have not seen anyone arguing that the new administrative counties (N. Tipp, S. Tipp, Fingal, S. Dublin, Dl-R) are not counties.
This current version of the template template avoids either extreme definition. Instead of restricting itself to either only current administrative counties or only traditional counties, it includes both and clearly labels the minority which are either non-traditional or currently non-administrative. I think that any attempt to omit either perspective will end up misleading the reader, but I would not rule out the possibility of re-organising the template so as to display the distinction more clearly.
Please note that LL's prposed replacement template ({tl|Counties of Ireland by category}} has been deleted after a lengthy discussion at TfD. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 12:49, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for that. I think there is confusion for the reader with the current template, I know it's trying to keep the common knowledge of counties with the current view of counties. It has taken me a while to get my head around it. I think we should be clear on what the current view of the counties of Ireland are to the reader and try not to confuse.
So, I went looking for references to tell me this within the articles we have and I found it hard to find any that are readily available. I wanted to be sure this information was correct as it is curious as to why we are trying to keep the current and the traditional together. Also to determine if there is a distinction of Geography over Administration.
I went to DLRCOCO and found this page interesting to read http://www.dlrcoco.ie/aboutus/ourcounty/ . It makes no attempt to refer to County Dublin, yet it establishes the geographic area that it covers. It is called a County Council and they have a section called Our County, which does suggest a view of being a county in its own right. But I'm finding it hard to find a reference that clearly lays out what the counties are today. This is confusing when it shouldn't be.
I'm thinking, Dublin City must state where it resides geographically, considering it is not a county, and this will clear it up for me, so this map http://www.dublincity.ie/YourCouncil/LocalAreaServices/Pages/LocalCouncilOfficesa.aspx , adds what now? Yep, it defines itself geographically and shows it's neighbours as Fingal, South Dublin and DLR. But this could just be simply as it is in the context of Administration and it doesn't say what county it is in.
So, still a bit confused, I think surely Fingal will fix this for me now. Perhaps someone has demonstrated this clearly. In fact they have a 'Where is Fingal' section. So I'm thinking, yes, finally, I am about to know for sure, see map http://www.fingalcoco.ie/YourLocalCouncil/AboutFingal/Maps/WhereisFingal/ . If you look at 'Fingal in relation to Ireland', the map shows a view of counties I haven't seen before. Now is this the present day picture of counties in Ireland, or have they got it wrong?
If the present day view of counties differs from the 'Traditional Counties', then this revelation should be given clearly to the reader in a simple manner to avoid any confusion. I think the current template requires someone to read between the lines to pick up the subtleties. But realistically this template is probably not used by many readers as most don't really know where to find these or what their purpose is. So the importance is in the Lists, Categories and Article Leads.
The Counties of Ireland article did help me get this a bit, but the map at the top contradicts the text that says the official view is 29 counties in the Republic of Ireland. This, I presume, was attempted to be cleared up with the section called 'Interactive map and usage' that tries to clarify this, but just adds more noise to the article making it more lengthy than it needs to be. Surely the article should show the modern view at the top and the history below, thus avoiding confusion and the belief that ROI is currently 26 counties and confusing DLR, South Dublin and Fingal as sub sections of Dublin.
Even with all that said, there is a hole in the geographic cover of ROI. Dublin City doesn't fall under a county and would then be countyless. Perhaps that is correct as we are just talking about counties, and there is an area that is not covered by a county.
So, now I am wondering where do I live? Is my address no longer County Dublin but instead County DLR? Let's not go Postal just yet.
DubhEire (talk) 18:31, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
I hope you don't think I was being smart above. I was just using a bit of humour. I'm sure you realise that, just keeping myself in check. Anyway, I think I will take some of this over to the counties of Ireland talk page, as it is more relevant there. I must say I did start out being confused and my objective is to ensure that the reader is clear from the start what the current counties are. I think bringing in the older counties and trying to mix them together confuses. DubhEire (talk) 20:27, 16 February 2012 (UTC)
Dubh, the question of what the current counties are depends on how you define a county. There are several different approaches, and choosing any one of them causes anomalies and omissions. --BrownHairedGirl (talk) • (contribs) 21:13, 16 February 2012 (UTC)